What To Say ‘No’ To…
Happy No! No! No-vember Friends!
As I sit composing this today, my first day of being officially unemployed, the theme for this month is when and what to say ‘No‘ to. Yup, the big change for me this month is that my last day at Workday was November 14. You can find the whole post here, but it was time to say goodbye to an amazing four years.
Supposedly, this month’s topic was going to center around gratitude and Thanksgiving, but the more I thought about what was happening in my life, the more it felt like saying ‘no’ has been one of the key areas I have been working on and wanted to talk about. To increase my gratitude for what I have and set the stage for an amazing 2015, knowing what I WANT to be doing and what I do NOT want to be doing is front and center right now.
This month, whether it has been saying ‘no’ in my professional life by leaving Workday, saying ‘no’ to activities that I am not passionate about or having conversations in relationships about what I do and don’t want, saying ‘no’ this month has been incredibly challenging and rewarding all at the same time.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us.”
– Helen Keller –
While we have all probably heard the first part of Helen’s quote several times, it’s the second part that really messes with me. I think that all too often I have been scared to close the door in the first place for fear of regret or delving into the unknown and facing change. And let’s face it, saying ‘no’ is not easy in today’s society. Many times I feel that saying ‘no’ requires justification or an explanation or I risk offending the person who made the invitation. Why is that? I don’t have to justify when I say ‘yes’ – but maybe if I did, saying ‘no’ wouldn’t be so difficult. Being able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ means I have taken the time to examine what it is that I do and don’t want and shouldn’t require additional justification. Besides, isn’t that really the type of decision process that we want from the people we work with and are close to?
In a world where people are constantly connected via technology and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) runs rampant, if we respond at all, it is usually with a maybe. Saying ‘No’ with intention, meaning and purpose is THE ONLY WAY a different opportunity or solution can be found. Without that word, our lives can become a mish-mash of unintentional decisions and noise rather than a path set with intention and the satisfaction of knowing we are making decisions and taking actions based on what is right for us as a person and our goals. And while it often requires a leap of faith that saying ‘‘no’ today will result in a better or at lest different opportunity tomorrow, that’s where the magic of life happens.
So in this issue, you’ll find content around areas that I have found helpful in deciding where I want to say ‘no’. ‘No’ to technology. ‘No’ to attitudes and beliefs that don’t serve me. ‘No’ to running late. ‘No’ to being too ‘busy’. ‘No’ to TV and ‘Yes’ to TED Talks. ‘No’ to fast food and ‘Yes’ to eating like you mean it. And what about picking a big, monstrous goal for 2015 that freaks you out and saying ‘FUCK YES!’.
What areas in your life could use an extra ‘no’ or two or a big, fat, committed ‘YES’ that means you’ll have to change your commitments, expectations and priorities around yourself and others? I registered for mine today…
PS – See you in AZ Nov. 2015 for Ironman. 🙂
PPS – While it’s No! No! No-vember, it was YES! YES! YES! October for the San Francisco Giants! Congrats to all my SF friends on another great World Series win! I was so glad to be in SF to help celebrate a Game 7 Win!