“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Happy March! In the spirit of Spring and turning over new leaves, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s brilliant words ring true when speaking not only of “perfection” but of achieving fulfillment and happiness. In our imperfect world full of challenge and mass consumption, we need whittling tools right now more than ever.
As a natural born positive person, I tend to embrace “yes”, and there are immense benefits to this. I actually love to be adventurous with what I say yes to, within reason. For example, when I believe in a person, I delight in saying yes to helping further their dreams. This has drawn an amazing array of interesting people into my sphere. I also love a new challenge. But I have blind spots, as everyone does, and the instinct to say yes to the wrong people or things blunts progress in the evolution of yourself, your work and your life. I’m interested in being happier and more productive, not only because of the things I do, but also for the things I don’t do, so my 2020 goal is to focus more of my time on the things that matter most by saying NO more.
There is one caveat to what you are about to read: we must always remain discerningly open to saying “yes”, and one thing that you should definitely consider saying yes to right now, is (wisely) BUYING real estate. Read the stats in our data to find out why. Now is the time to say yes to buying, and to say no to more of the things that interfere with clarity, progress, and ultimately happiness.
I invite you (especially if you’re a “giver”) to come along on this journey and I hope that you’ll just say “no” a little more with me! Check out the nuggets of wisdom here on the art of saying no, and what to apply them to for a better life and a better you.
1. Say No To Perfection
Be an imperfectionist. Don’t waste time on perfection. Great is good enough. That said, remember that the best writing is in the rewrite, and that truism carries through to almost everything, including other art forms, creative endeavors, and growing a business. But progress, not perfection, is the ball to keep your eye on.
“Perfection is the enemy of progress.” — Winston Churchill
How to say no to perfection:
2. Say No To Takers
Make room in your life to say “yes” to givers, and give to yourself.
“Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit.” —Unknown
How to say no to takers:
3. Say No To Procrastination
Stop thinking, start doing.
“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius
How to say no to procrastination:
4. Say No To Food Without Nutrients
Getting the right nutrients in your body always works wonders for well-being. Here’s where I get to share my father’s (a naturalist doctor who supervised detoxification through fasting of tens of thousands of people) last words with me. “Remember Dear, people don’t need to eat too much.” I felt gypped of some profound wisdom and laughed at the time, but I’ve since come to appreciate the wisdom in these last words of a man who stated, more than once, “the biggest crisis in America today is FAT.”
“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food” — Hippocrates
How to say no to food without nutrients:
5. Say No To Toxic People
Make more time for people who don’t bring you down!
“It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around when you remove toxic people from your life.” — Robert Tew
How to say no to toxic people:
6. Say No To Not Sleeping Well And Enough
Sleep is golden, and your body needs that time to work hard to regenerate cells, to detoxify the body and mind, and to reset emotions. Get your beauty sleep, period, with no exceptions. It's a need not an option.
“Sleep is the best meditation” — Dalai Lama
How to say no to screwing with your sleep:
7. Say No To Negative self-talk
Be positive. Don’t spiral into “coulda, woulda, shoulda” self-loathing. Seek higher ground.
“Remember; someone loves everything you hate about yourself” — Frank Ocean
Observe and find insights into your feelings; don’t judge them. *this is a big one*
8. Say No To Reading What Doesn’t Enhance Your Life
You don’t have to finish every book you start!
“Life is too short to read a bad book.” — James Joyce
How to say no to reading bad books:
9. Say No To Comparing Yourself To Other People
Don’t waste time comparing things that don’t compare. They’re quantified or qualified using a different set of attributes, it’s not the same thing!
“Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.” — Bill Gates
How to say no to comparing yourself to others:
10. Say No To Excuses
Ask yourself why you’re really making excuses, be honest with yourself, and you’ll find the real reason. You’ll find your behavior naturally shifts with new self-awareness.
“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses” — George Washington Carver
How to say no to excuses:
11. Say No To Bad Partners
In work and in life, communication is key. Learn how to identify good fits for you, your work, and your business. Work things out or walk away.
“I can’t control your behavior; nor do I want that burden….but I have standards; step up or step out.” — Steve Maraboli
How to say no to a bad partner:
12. Say No To Gossip
It’s as old as the hills, but Gossip is bad form, and gossipers are toxic time-wasters and positive-energy-destroyers. People who gossip are looking to distract themselves from themselves, and gossiping is one of the lowest forms of human behavior to engage in.
“Who gossips to you will gossip of you” — Turkish Proverb
How to say no to gossip:
13. Say No To Naysayers
If someone doesn’t have time for you, don’t make time for them, and move on from people who crush your spirit rather than believing in you,
“Naysayers have little power over us — unless we give it to them.” -Arianna Huffington
How to say no to naysayers:
14. Say No To Interruptions
According to research, one of the biggest factors in reducing productivity is tap-on-the-shoulder interruptions.
“If you can’t let your employees work from home out of fear they’ll slack off, you’re a babysitter, not a manager.” — Jason Fried
How to say no to tap-on-the-shoulder interruptions:
15. Say No To Responding To Non-urgent Messages In A Hurry
As much as possible set aside time to answer messages rather than feeling urgently compelled to answer immediately. Constant message handling can be soul crushing. It’s a presence, thought and progress interruptor that needs managing.
“Emails get reaction. Phone calls start conversations.” — Simon Sinek
How to say no to responding to messages in a hurry:
16. Say No To Doing What Can And Should Be Delegated
Know your superpowers and strengths and delegate the stuff that’s not the highest and best use of your time.
“As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you must also understand the art of delegation.” — Richard Branson
How to say no to doing things that need to be you delegated:
17. Say No To Long Meetings
Only take productive meetings. Don’t plan the others or wrap them up quickly if they’re unproductive. It may seem rude, but in the long run, your productivity and happiness quotient will increase exponentially.
“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.” — Miles Davis
How to say no to unnecessary and/or long meetings:
18. Say No To Social Media
Social media is a necessary evil for almost everyone today, but you don’t have to let it consume hours of your valuable time and energy.
“Never before has a generation so diligently recorded themselves accomplishing so little.” —Unknown
How to say no to social media:
19. Say No To Unhelpful Routines
Don’t get stuck in a non-productive routines that don’t benefit your life.
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” — Warren Buffett
How to say no to bad routines:
20. Say No To Clutter
Have a clean workspace, both physically and mentally. A clean environment supports a clear mind.
“Clutter is anything that doesn’t support your better self.” — Eleanor Brown
How to say no to cluttered environments:
21. Say No To Waiting Needlessly
You can’t recover or recycle wasted time. The two hours spent waiting and brewing frustration are two hours of your life that you’ll never get back.
How to say no to waiting needlessly when you’re forced to wait:
Learning to say “no” is a skill. Practice it. Master it. Say “no” to the right things now and my bet is that you’ll soon be saying “yes” to a clearer mind and a happier life surrounded by more love and light. We can do this!
"In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity" -Sun Tzu - Wendy Maitland's take on the art, science and results of calm, and what we need to learn to find and seize opportunity out of chaos. Breathe.Read More
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