Stop the Insanity – The Power of Saying “No”!
I think we live in the busiest time in human history. We have more demands on our time than ever before. We are working longer hours, have more responsibilities, more people to communicate with, and are inundated with distractions.
The worst part of it all is I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. In fact, I think it will get much worse.
We opened up our first martial arts school on June 1st, 2003. This June will be our 19th anniversary. There is no doubt that the families we teach today have far more on their plates than the families we worked with nearly two decades ago.
I was born in the 70’s, and kids’ schedules back then are nothing compared to what they are now. Kids are given more homework, more tests, and more projects than ever before. Football and baseball coaches are demanding that kids attend 4-5 practices per week plus games. It’s insane!
Like the philosopher, Susan Powter, said in the 90’s, we need to “Stop the insanity!”
How do we do that? How do we stop the insanity? How do we slow our lives down so we can make time for the really important things in life?
It starts with one very powerful, short, straightforward response – NO!
What I have learned over the years is saying “Yes” is easy.
When we are over scheduled, too busy, have too many priorities, too many tasks to do, we get overwhelmed, stressed, and irritable.
When we have too many things to do, what do most people do? Nothing! We get stuck in “paralysis of analysis” trying to figure out what to do first, where to start, and how to proceed. We can’t figure it out, so we do nothing.
All of the sudden turning on Netflix seems like a good escape from trying to figure out the labyrinth of your daily and weekly schedule.
Why can the lion tamer keep away a large, hungry, and aggressive lion with only an upside-down bar stool. The answer is because the lion interprets the 4 legs of the stool as 4 separate threats that could attack at any time or at the same time. So, the lion does nothing!
Saying no can be freeing. It cuts down the number of tasks and responsibilities that make their way on to your daily calendar. Saying no creates calmness, focus, and serenity throughout your day.
In order to feel good about saying no, we have to be clear about what things to say yes to. When you are clear with your top 3 goals, vital functions, vital metrics, and vital priorities, it becomes much clearer what does not move the needle in any of those areas, and you can see those things for what they are. Distractions!
Now, it goes without saying that we can not go through life saying no to everything. We do have to say yes sometimes, so how do you know when to say yes?
You can say yes when in your mind the answer is a “Hell yeah!”
Creating clarity on the following areas makes saying “no” much easier.
There is no doubt that saying no is hard, so when you have to say no, say it in a nice, polite, and friendly way.
Say, “No, thank you. I appreciate you thinking of me. Right now, I don’t think I can make it, but if that changes, I will let you know.” You are basically saying, “Don’t call me, I will call you!” But you are saying it in a nice way. 😊
In closing, I think we have all learned that more is not better. More things to do, people to see, commitments to live up to is not the recipe for a better life. Identifying what is truly important to you and keeping those things first place will make your life, more calm, focused, and will make the journey far more enjoyable.