This week, a man—I’ll call him Dave—asked me out on a date—to tea, anyway. We talked about our work, our life passions, our friendships. The next day, he called to tell me what a nice time he’d had. He wanted to get together again. Sure, I said. Let’s do that. But after I hung up, I stalled like an engineless plane in mid-air.

Yes, he was nice, successful, and we’ve been acquaintances for years, so I know he’s not an ax murderer. But I had to check to see if he passed the “Hell yes test.”

The “Hell yes test,” actually coined the “Hell yeah test” by the brilliant entrepreneur Derek Sivers (, suggests that when faced with an activity, if you don’t say “Hell yes, I want to do it!” then don’t bother.

When Dave called again, I politely declined his invitation to go out because I was lukewarm about the idea. Sure, I could have gone and started up a new friendship, but…why?

More and more I find that as I keep my attention on what engages me completely, the less I want to put my attention on the lukewarm things. That doesn’t mean that I quit my current work or stop helping friends and relatives in need when those activities become challenging or dull. But it does mean that as can keep directing my attention toward those things I’m most passionate about, day by day, all transforms into one big “Hell Yes!”

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