When We Say No

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I say No, No, No No, No, No–until I see one

[an investment] that is exactly what I am looking for.  And then I say Yes.  All I have to do is say Yes a few times in my life and I've made my fortune.We say no a thousand times before we can yes.  – Warren Buffett

When we say ‘no', what are we saying ‘yes ‘to?

As a parent, when we say ‘no' to TV before our children play outside, aren't we saying ‘yes' to their physical and emotional health?

As a student, when we say ‘no' to the internship that is handily ours so as to seek out one that isn't,  aren't we saying ‘yes' to discovering new skills so as to be even better prepared for the job market?

If I'm Paula Abdul and I say ‘no' I didn't like that number, am I not saying ‘yes' to my words meaning something?

When we say ‘no' to heading up another committee at school because we are tapped out, aren't we saying ‘yes' to our children and spouse, our self?

If I'm Katie Couric, if I had said ‘no' I won't take the CBS Evening News gig, wouldn't she have been saying ‘yes' to my brand, ‘yes' to why people hire me, ‘yes' to keeping my career on track?   (I confess, however, in response to Stacey P's comment on that post, had I been there, I don't know that I would have done it differently).

Photo courtesy of Andrea Heimer, whose ‘Yes' painting I recently purchased and love

When we say ‘no' to living out the dreams that others (parents, spouse, friends, children) have for us, aren't we saying ‘yes' to the vision we have for our self?  Or at least to figuring out what vision we have for our self?

When we say ‘no', we have said ‘yes' to something else — an emphatic, meaningful ‘yes.'

In learning to say ‘no', we are indeed learning to say ‘yes', not only ‘yes' to others, but ‘yes' to our selves.

To prioritize.
To discern.
To choose.
To be wise.

There's always a ‘yes' on the other side of the ‘no' — who and what are we saying ‘yes' to?

How are we saying yes to our self?

Over the next few hours, every time you say ‘no', will you think about what you are saying ‘yes' to?


Related Posts:
A Down Payment on Our Dream
Learning to Say No
Psyche and Choice


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