How often do you wish you had it all? All the opportunities. All the wildest stories. All the passport stamps. All the love.
Yet for every “yes” we say, we’re inevitably saying “no” to other things that may also be vital.
While it hardly ever comes easily, saying no can be the best way to say yes.
- Saying no to scrolling on facebook means yes to spending quality time with friends and family.
- Saying no to the a late-night social event means yes to a good night’s sleep before a busy day.
- Saying no to vegging out after work workout means yes to exercise (and yes to feeling better).
Even when the better choice is obvious, how often do we make the thoughtful one? Sometimes it’s easy, but more often it can be a challenge. Especially when great opportunities arise and we want it all. Yet saying yes to everyone and everything can leave us flailing, scattered and empty.
So how does one decide?
I’m no pro, but as a chronic sufferer of FOMO, I can say that learning to say a firm but friendly “no” can be one of the most freeing experiences.
Here’s my general strategy:
- Set priorities.
- If you still want it all, realize this: with very careful planning and considerable good luck, it just might be possible to have it all. But certainly not all at once. Therefore:
- Choose one thing (for now). Still not sure which one to start with?
- See #1.
As an example:
This week I took a trip to a world-class climbing area (Red Rock, Nevada). Thrilling, right? It could have been, but believe it or not I didn’t spent even a day during my trip climbing. The purpose of my trip was to attend the national Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild (HSCG) conference.
It drove me bonkers to look out the window of the conference center and see the rugged cliffs calling me from the horizon.
Why not do both? At first, that seemed the obvious choice. But digging deeper, I realized that with the timeframe I had, I could only do one or the other if I was going to do it well.
Yet saying “no” to scratching my adventure itch meant new friends, better business strategies, new formulation ideas, better knowledge of the industry and advocacy opportunities.
Staying true to my goal of making the best adventure soap on the market meant, for this week, expanding my horizons of knowledge on essential oils, formulations, and chemistry. It meant networking.
Compared to a rock climbing trip, that may seem like a strange kind of adventure, but it was an adventure nonetheless, and as the week concluded I felt satisfied and inspired.
As you can see, “no” has a powerful way of setting parameters and ultimately gives freedom to focus.
And when it’s time for me to take that climbing adventure, I will set my work aside and thoroughly enjoy the trip.
Although I was unable to make Red Rock my climbing destination this week, those giant red cliffs made a permanent impression not only on the skyline but also on my memory. I will return.
In the meantime, I look forward to exploring a virtual tour of Red Rock Canyon. Thanks to the amazing internet, even if we can’t do it all today, we can Grow in enthusiasm of this country’s amazing natural treasures and advocate for their protection so they can be enjoyed by travelers near and far when their time for adventure is now. Look for the tour in our next post.
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