Nathan Messelink • March 14
No. Two simple letters connected to form one powerful word.
It sounds so easy, but the truth is that unless you are a rampaging two-year-old, this word can be extremely difficult to speak. We think it, we feel it, we may even know it, but we are so often hesitant to use it. The same finality that fills the word with power often fills us with dread and anxiety. So to soften the blow, we say things like “maybe” and “possibly,” or we stretch and twist and force something to sort of fit…anything to not say no.
The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.
The reasons are mixed; we are afraid of what will happen, what people will think, who we might disappoint or what we might miss. The reasons are mixed, but the results are always the same. Attitudes falter, creativity dwindles, the work suffers and no one ends up happy.
Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” No is the silent partner of success. No protects time and talent and profitability. No allows us to be strategic and intentional in what we do. No reveals what we value most. No allows creativity to flourish and becomes the platform from which our best work can be crafted.
Saying no to most things means that when we say yes, we can pursue it with focus and intensity and passion.
No doesn’t guarantee happiness, but it certainly moves us closer in our pursuit.