Everybody is familiar with the idea of a YES man, but for Minnesota State University, Mankato alum Gary Lesley, that word takes on a whole new, more profound meaning. In his new book ‘YES’, Lesley discusses the healing, all-knowing power of the word ‘yes’.
Lesley has recently come back to MSU, just a year ago, returning to campus to assist the College of Business with a grant involving agriculture innovation.
“Admittedly, I’m not an ag[riculture] guy, but I heard the word innovation. And I have participated in innovation, so I understand that process and asked for more information… long story short, I said, ‘I’m coming back to MSU.”
Lesley has lived all across the world, innovating, from right here in Mankato, Minnesota, to a small village atop Mount Everest, helping their people grow crops more successfully and for longer periods of time.
The term ‘yes’ is a word overflowing with meaning; so crucial that it inspired a whole book. In his new book ‘YES’, Lesley shares what he’s discovered about the healing, all-knowing power of the word ‘yes’.
“The answer is always yes. Sometimes the question doesn’t match up with [the answer], and what that has taught me is that I wasn’t asking the right question. So one of the main takeaways is to learn about yourself… and understand the universe just wants to tell you ‘yes’, but you’ve got to yourself in a position where yes connects with what you’re trying to do,” Lesley explained. “The more you know who you are, the more your life is ‘yes’.”
While the idea in retrospect may seem like a lot to chew on at first, Lesley simplifies it to one key meaning: ‘it’s possible.’ No matter what personal journey the reader is currently in, the power of ‘yes’ makes whatever they’re trying to accomplish possible.
Lesley says that the idea of ‘yes’ is like a skeleton key; there’s only one way to accomplish your goal (the power of ‘yes’,) but what lies behind that door is dependent on each respective person that opens it.
“Why is it the key to success? If you put it in the right door, it’ll open up. Where’s the right door? That’s for you to find,” Lesley said. “Everyone has the same key, but a different door. Use it to unlock yourself.”
Lesley’s reasoning behind writing ‘YES’ is that he wants to give back to the community.
For him, a big part of the ideology behind his book is passing the baton to another person; spreading the message to another once you’ve figured it out yourself.
“I think there’s no better place than a university where you can find people really interested in listening to your stories, and I have a lot of stories. Most of them are about failure, but that’s how you learn success,” Lesley said.
The main takeaway that Lesley wants readers to take from the book is a feeling of hope and positivity.
“I want them to start saying ‘yes’ to themselves. It doesn’t mean in an irresponsible fashion, but saying yes to loving yourself, getting to know yourself, being kind to yourself. It starts with those eyes in the mirror looking back at you,” Lesley said. The book is available for purchase on Amazon. Otherwise, anyone interested can email Gary Lesley to purchase a copy for half-off, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Header Photo: Gary Lesley was recruited by the MSU College of Business to aid in the education of agriculture innovation after spending time on Mt. Everest aiding people to learn to better care for their crops. These experiences and more inspired him to take to writing. (Joey Erickson/The Reporter)
Write to Joey Erickson at Joey.Erickson@mnsu.du