I’ve been learning a lot about saying “no” over the years. In fact, It seems like I hear about the importance of saying “no” on most every leadership podcast I listen to. The idea of streamlining, keeping your time open for the most important things, only doing what you can do all revolve around being good at saying “no”. If you struggle with it, here are a few ideas for saying “no” nicely.
But I was inspired by a little book I picked up called, The Power Of Yes. What if the pendulum has swung too far and we miss opportunities to grow, learn, discover or engage as a witness to the world. What if we need to say “yes!” more often!
A calculated, disciplined answer of “no” for the purpose of something else is one thing, but if we are giving the answer of no because we are afraid of failure or disappointment, we need to reevaluate.
Here are a few thoughts on saying “yes.”
Say Yes To Great Relationships
Relationships are the glue for life. As Benjamin Franklin said, “A true friendship is the best possession.” Part of growing in relationship is saying “yes” to those around us. My wife taught our young daughters at a young age not to respond with “what?” when called, but to respond with, “yes.” When someone we love and we are in relationship with asks us to do something, we do our best to say, Yes. When I get home and one of my daughters wants me to see something, I try to say yes immediately and go look. When my wife wants to talk about something, I try to, with my actions, to say, “yes, I’m listening.” Saying “yes” to the most important relationships in life is key to living to the full.
Say Yes To Good Health
Instead of saying “no” to certain foods and dessert, think of it as saying, “yes” to health and fitness. Flip it around so it’s positive. I once heard Mike Huckabee say, “eating that candy bar doesn’t taste nearly as good as losing weight and being healthy.” When your calendar is full and your day is busy, you still must say “yes” to spending some time exercising. Saying yes to good health is a catalyst to a bright and cheery life. I like how Jim Rohn puts it: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
Say Yes To God’s Call
The Holy Spirit is prompting and whispering all the time. As our lives become tuned into to God’s invitations, we must say yes! When we sense an opportunity to serve or give to lead, saying yes will be the only way that we can be satisfied. As we say yes to God, even the small things are world changing. God does work in us that we often can’t pinpoint or explain and God works in the lives of others through us, which is an incomparable blessing. Always say yes to God, his word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, I understand the need for “no” but I just thought this was a positive little book to encourage the reader to say “yes” to life! To become an adventurer or explorer, to respond to God’s invitation, and to try and learn to things, at some point, we have to say, Yes!