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Win Big By Saying No

Sep 13, 2021

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you have to complete? Maybe your inbox seems to relentlessly fill up. Or your to-do list is never ending? If you're a high performer, then you'll likely put high expectations on yourself - it's one of those catch-22 scenarios. To achieve epic results, you have to be all-in, but when you are saying "yes" to lots of people and their requests, you end diluting your results, right?

I struggled with this massively. I recall a time when I was running an online retail business, being a Dad,  had a 9-5 teaching job, studying a Bachelors degree (in 7 months) and leading one of the world's top 10 drumline's. I had a classic dose of priority dilution. I was saying yes to everybody and really not feeling any sense of joy or fulfilment. The thing I looked forward to the most was a glass of wine at the end of a mammoth day, not a good sign right? Well, when I go back and see photos of that version of me, I'm not impressed. I was pudgy, pale and rather uninspiring. 

I was performing above the norms in all of the above areas but I quickly realised that not all of the activities I was doing were fully congruent with who I was. And let's face it, we change. Over time, we change. Our perspective changes, our health changes, our wisdom changes and our desires change. When my son Finn came along in 2016 I had a big wakeup call that forced me to evaluate where I was spending my time and I soon realised I was spending my time in one or two areas that brought me little or no joy. 

It was decision time, and so I made the decision to say no to parts of my life that were causing me hurt, pain and incongruence. It was a pivotal time and many people around me urged me to walk the path well-trodden to ensure I pleased the nay-sayers, gossipers and boomers. But I looked around me at those who avoided the path less travelled and concluded that the vast majority of them were unfulfilled and unhealthy.

Saying no caused some short term pain. People have these pre-conceived expectations on you, but don't let that hold you back from following your heart. When you are deliberating on whether to say no to something in your life, ask yourself this question. "What will it cost me in 25 years time if I don't make a change right now?"

All too often we neglect to think of the long term consequences and instead we prioritise the short term benefits. A great example, is that innocent snickers bar, or whatever sweet treat you love. Why would you want to think about the 25 year consequence of having a snickers bar four times a week? Surely it would be much more pleasurable to think about the short term joy of eating it. Right? Wrong!

When you can start to bring the long term consequences into your short term decision making, you've cracked the code to a truly fulfilling life. Those short term, tough decisions will no longer seem so tough.

What could you say NO to in your life right now that would relieve you of stress, tension or incongruence? And what might it cost you in 25 years financially, emotionally or spiritually if you don't make the change?

You truly have a unique gift for this world. For some of you it will be parenthood, others it may be creating the next bio-fuel. You owe it to yourself to pursue your uniqueness.

Todays your day to take action towards the life of your dreams.


p.s. Be sure to head over and check out this weeks Life on Purpose podcast where I talk about How To Grow Exponentially