by Sopan Greene
How many times have you told yourself "yes!" today?
Not enough I bet. Yes is the most powerful word
in the English language.
Unfortunately, too many times we say yes to others
when we should say no. At the same time we continue
to tell ourselves no when we need to say yes.
You deserve to create the life of your dreams. Period.
The first step on that road is to learn to tell yourself
yes before you say yes to others.
One big reason so many people don't like their lives is
because they accidentally created a life that's not based
on what they want. How did that happen? Pretty easily
If most of your life isn't how you thought it would turn
out then you haven't figured out what you want to say yes
to in your life. This doesn't make you a bad person, it
makes you a typical twenty-first century human whose life
is filled with distracting details and tasks. Random
decisions lead us down random paths with random endings
we don't want.
When you know what you want to say yes to then your life
begins to change drastically. Why? Because anything
that comes up that's not on your "Yes list" is an automatic
no. How helpful is that? Very helpful.
This allows you to cut out time that gets wasted on
activities you don't need to do. For example lets pretend
Grace's yes list includes things like reading, having a clean
house, taking care of her kids, exercising, being healthy,
enjoying her job, and connecting with her friends.
So today, like every day, Grace is bombarded with choices.
She gets to work and someone generously brought in a huge
box of donuts to share with everyone. She thinks one would
taste good and she wouldn't mind a sugar rush to get her day
started. Should she eat it? Not if she's saying yes to
being healthy. That yes cuts out the possibility of junk food
and helps to prevent a future morning in the mirror asking
"How did this happen to me?"
Later in the day a friend calls and invites Grace out to
dinner at 9 p.m. Grace says no to dinner out because she
ate out last night and doesn't want the extra calories among
other reasons that don't fit her "yes list". But then she says
yes if her friend will come over to her house at 7 instead of 9
so she can have a healthier meal, be with her kids, get to bed
early enough to not be tired at work and to live within her
Do you get it? The point is that if your yes list has "start
my own business" at the top then you say no to anything that
doesn't support it like too much television viewing, playing
video games every day, joining a softball league, etc.
Once you make your "yes list" and then prioritize the list
you'll be in the driver's seat as you drive through each day
making choice after choice after choice. You'll be conscious
about what you want and you'll be doing what you need to
do to get what you want. Your future mornings with the mirror
will see you smiling and thrilled with your life.
This way you won't end up at the end of your life wondering
"what if?" Even better, you won't be complaining about what you
should've, could've or would've done. Instead you'll be basking
in your accomplishments and living the life you love.
Give Up Giving and Start Being Generous
Most of us grow up strongly influenced by the concept that
'It is better to give than to receive'.
We take it to heart so much that we interpret it literally,
and that's where we often get ourselves into trouble!