How many times do you use the word no a day?
No. Say it with me. No. Why am I asking you to repeat that word? Because many of us really don’t know the power of the word no.
See, when you are a child you are taught to say no to many things. Say no to drugs. Say no to strangers. Say no if you don’t want something. Say no if you don’t feel comfortable with something or someone. We were taught to just say no.
Then we grow up and your parents begin to say no to you a lot, but you are supposed to say yes to things they want for you. Say yes to taking all the classes they want you to. Say yes to the clothes they want you to wear. Say yes to who they think you should date. Say yes to the college and the major they want you to take. Hell, you are basically saying yes to their broken dreams that they didn’t fulfill.
Then you get out in the workforce and are told that you don’t say no out here. That you should never tell your Boss no for any reason. You do what you have to do no matter what to get the job done. You are told that no is a career killer. Basically, they would rather you sacrifice your soul than to tell them no.
Want to know how many times I told people no in my military career? A lot. Maybe that’s why I am not in the military anymore! Oh well. Honestly, I believe in the power of the word no. I believe that the word frees you up from doing things that you otherwise would neve find yourself doing.
See, Steve Jobs believed that by saying No to a lot of things it helped you to be focused on a few. Really focusing on what you want to do in life. Not what your parents or friends want you to do. Focusing on what matters.
See, I said no to a lot of bad ideas in my life. Even when I was looking for a job after I retired I said no to jobs I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t being picky. I just wanted something better. Only by saying no to the norm is how you will get further in life. And you will probably lose some friends. Maybe even some love ones. But if they truly believe and care for you hearing no won’t turn them away from you.
Hearing no will hopefully show them that you are strong in your convictions and know what you want in life. That you want to be in charge of your life decisions. Because saying yes to everyone else and saying no to what you want will get you nowhere.
What’s important to you? What makes you jump out of bed in the morning? What fuels your every waking moment? Those are the things that you should always say yes to. Until those are accomplished, everything else should be told no. Because if you really want them you will stay focus on only these things.
You want to be a better person and live a fulfilling life right? You have to say no to things that will take away from that. You have to say no to people who think they know what’s best for you. Sure, listen to people’s advice. But if you feel in your gut that you are being led the wrong way, say no.
The whole reason for your existence is to be the best person you can possibly in your lifetime. You should want to achieve everything that you wanted as a kid.
I am not saying that you will be another Steve Jobs. Who wants to be? I would imagine that he would want you to be better than him in whatever you decide to be.
But he would definitely want you to say the word no more.
What are you going to say no to today that you have been putting off?