Productivity … Yes And No

People often feel that the word “Yes” is the most important factor of meeting goals and achieving personal growth. For example, we think that we have to say “Yes, I’ll exercise. Yes, I’ll save money. Yes, I’ll read that book. Yes, I’ll call that person.”  Etc. But here’s a secret that great implementers share … The word “No” is actually more important than “Yes.”

Those who are overcommitted and overwhelmed often cite “I just can’t say ‘No’” as the root of their problems. But the truth is that these same men and women are saying “No” all the time. They just spell it Y-E-S.

Every Yes is actually many more Nos. So whenever a person says “Yes”, which is so easy to do, he or she is actually saying “No” dozens of times.

“Yes, I’ll go to the movie” is “No, I won’t invest those two hours reading, exercising, talking to my spouse, learning something new, etc.” “Yes, I’ll buy that” is “No, I won’t buy this other thing, or save the money, or use these resources to help someone in need.” And on and on it goes.

Knowing when to say “No” is a very advanced personal growth skill. But before you think about that, there are dozens of videos on the Internet of dogs sneezing. Maybe you should watch those instead … what do you say?


The above is used by permission from the book Three Years Of Tuesday Mornings: 156 e-mails about business and life by Steve Fales.

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