How hard it is sometimes! Saying this dreaded word for the new writer, the starting preacher, the rising businessman or the aspiring entertainer is difficult. For the seasoned ones it’s also hard. The two letter word, NO. When we say to ourselves, “This will make all of the difference”, saying no in our minds, means to stop any progress or even kill our dreams. It is difficult to say no at times. not because we are afraid, but because we struggle with the idea that an opportunity can be slipping from our hands and we might not see it again.
In reality accepting everything that comes our way, is a reflection of how much we value ourselves to the eyes of the world. Learning to saying no might be just what you really need to be good at in order to become precisely what you have always dreamt of becoming. Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that you pose as a negative person. All the contrary, your personal skills are very important to develop. What i’m suggesting is that you become a more selective individual. Learning to say no to good opportunities opens your capacity to accept the better ones. Many times we struggle with this, I do too, but it is especially hard when you are starting out any new endeavor. There is always learning curve for every line of business, craft or calling, but if we step back and carefully study those that have excelled in the arena we pursue, you will find that there is a “selectiveness” (if that is even a word) to what they do. It creates the capacity for them to continue doing what they do best. This in turn actually makes them even more appealing to those around them and in there sphere of influence.
So how do we master to say no to good opportunities for the better ones? Every situation is different, but I have experienced that when I have a clear understanding of what is important for my family and me on the long run, it is much easier to say no. This leads me to where I suggest you should start: with the end in mind. I know it is difficult for many to look beyond today, but it is possible. Recently I had the opportunity to discuss further about the legacy we construct with our lives. Regardless if we admit it or not, we all are constructing something, but how we construct makes a big difference. I used an illustration to explain this: Picture a well organized garage with boxes clearly marked. Two adults suddenly approach you. They are well dressed and appear to be well groomed and educated. These are your children. On another scene the same garage but in complete disarray. Garbage is all over and the two adults that approach you are disheveled and clearly disoriented. The time is two weeks after you have died, and this is your legacy to the world. Which will you choose? This brings me this principle: What you choose today will directly reflect on how you will end tomorrow. Everything is connected.
Having a clear perspective, will help you say “NO” to those opportunities that might be good, but not great. It will help you discern what will impact your legacy. You might start by asking yourself a lot of questions like these.
- What are my values? What is it that moves me?
- Where is my family and I headed in life?
- Saying yes to this opportunity, will it mean that my time and resources will be compromised beyond my capacity? Who will be robbed of my time?
- Will my family be impacted by saying yes? Can this be done by someone else?
- What are the options?
Another tool I use is a decision matrix. This is a process of assigning values to the factors more important to me for any set of options I might have. After adding them up, the greater the total, the most “logical” the answer. You can request a template here.
Learning to say “NO”, should be an action you want to master, because it will determine your success or failure. We all struggle with this, I still do, but Im getting better every day. And sometimes the most “logical” option might not be the one you end up pursuing, but it will be the one that brings you and those you love, the greatest peace. Saying no will lead you to greater capacity and greater purpose. You will be able to construct your life, immensely, beautifully and purposefully for the generations to come.
Learn to master that two letter word, because saying No, creates capacity.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012