I say these words to myself daily or nearly so. I’ve posted them before and I expect I will again. They bear repeating and deserve a post to themselves.
You have to say no to a lot of good things to have a great life.
I don’t see declining an opportunity as giving it up so much as giving myself more time and resources for something I value more. I didn’t start this way. I used to say yes to too many things, not realizing that time doing one thing meant time not doing another. I still do, but less than before. The same with relationships — just other parts of your life that you use your resources for.
What does “too many things” mean? It means I said yes to mediocre or good things that crowded out great things. We all do it. Something seems great in the moment. We want it in our lives. We don’t think about the resources it will take. Then when we do it we realize we can’t do something else we wanted to. Welcome to mediocre-ville.
When I can magically create more time and other resources, I’ll say yes to more things. Until then, I decline good things to have a great life.
It’s a matter of values. Your values determine “good” and “great” in your life.
The less you know your values — your emotional responses to things — the less you know how to decide where to allocate your resources, especially time, but also money, connections, relationships, energy, and so on. The more you know your values, the more you can choose to improve your life — that is, to have more things in your life you like and less that you don’t.
As I wrote in my post “Three changes you’ll see in your relationships when you change yourself,” when you take time or other resources from one place, you gain them in another. The more the changes align your life — your environments, beliefs, and behaviors — with your values, creating the emotions and emotional reward you want, the better your life.
Don’t view no as declining one thing. Think of it as saying yes to something better, or at least enabling it.
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