photo: Corbis

Yes. Yes. Yes!

Shonda Rhimes is a woman that isn’t afraid to accept challenges and has been quite successful at excelling in the face of adversity. With hit TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder, the 45-year-old screenwriter, director, and producer is paving the way for women of color in an industry dominated by white men. But wait, there's more. 

Now, she shares her best practices in her book, The Year of Yes, which details a whole year of her life that she decided to say “yes” to anything and everything.

“Saying yes for an entire year turned out to be one of the most amazing decisions I have ever made,” Rhimes said in a statement. “It was also a little insane, a lot terrifying, and sometimes wildly embarrassing. So this is not a story I ever planned to share with anyone.”

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But she did, and now you can do it too! Here’s how:

Shine the light on yourself and watch it brighten your existence:

Rhimes is so good at writing characters everyone loves, but as she dove deeper into those fictional people, she was slowly losing herself. By turning the spotlight back on her center and focusing on the acceptance of life, Rhimes awakened what was dimming inside of her. “My life had so drained of color and excitement that I could barely see it,” she writes in her book, according to an excerpt People published. “Why? You never say yes to anything. Maybe it was time to start saying yes. Maybe.”

Look at your greatest fears in the face and overcome them:

One of Rhimes’ greatest fears was public speaking and among the first “yes” she gave was an invitation from the president of her alma mater, Dartmouth College, to deliver a commencement speech even though she “had so much social anxiety,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

Proudly say “Yes!” to saying “No”:

Rhimes was in a serious relationship and felt “conditioned” to take the next step into marriage although it wasn’t what she wanted. When she finally said “no” to marriage she uncovered a freedom she didn’t know existed. “Now if somebody says, ‘Are you looking for that?’ I say, ‘Nope, looking for a boyfriend, not a husband.’ And there’s a freedom to that. There’s no pressure if you’re not looking for it,” she told EW.

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Create the time to smell the roses and inhale deeply:

The high-powered showrunner is also a single mom, who, like many workingwomen with children, has struggled with time management. Over the course of her ever-evolving explosive career, she has created a space where the focus is not on the characters she writes, but the “tiny humans” she’s raising, like not working on weekends and leaving the office around 5 p.m. in time for dinner, The Hollywood Reporter detailed.

Influential bloggers and social media stars tell us about times they said "Si!" to life and why you should too.