If you’ve read a book or two on self-improvement…
… and I’m sure you’ve did, then you know most “gurus” ask you to say NO more often.
To say no to requests. To prioritise your time. To eliminate anything but the critical in your life.
And that’s a great piece of advice…
… and I honestly believe you should eliminate anything that is of no consequence in your life, for what matters.
There is only one problem…
… that the gurus completely forgot.
That is… HOW do you determine what’s of consequence and what is not in your life?
Let me share with you what usually happens in my life…
… I say yes, sometimes, to the most random requests.
And because of them, I end up in some amazing places, in some amazing circumstances, with some beautiful people.
Example, when I was in Vietnam I said yes to come to Singapore. This gave birth to a beautiful friendship and business collaboration that still lasts today.
I never planned to go to Singapore.
I actually enjoyed my time in Vietnam — I love this quiet, romantic place.
But I said yes — and it was the best thing I could do.
At some point in the past, I said yes to a girl who wanted to meet me. I was busy, not in the best mood and honestly, not that excited.
I said yes, and a few days later I was holding her hand and I was proud of it.
The examples can go on.
I got ahead in life… and achieved many of my goals because I said YES even if I had previous plans. Even if I had stuff to do… or a plan in place… or I started on a different road, I said YES to some things and as a consequence, I ended up in a better place, that I didn’t even imagined.
But why is this relevant to you?
Because chances are that if I ask you something — you’ll say no.
You’ll say no because you’re scared, of the unknown, of loss, of consequences.
You’ll say no because you’re busy. You’ve already agreed to yourself or to someone else and you don’t want to change your plan.
You’ll say no because you’re not prepared… or you don’t have enough energy.
And the most common reason by a huge margin…
… you’ll say no because you don’t feel the time is right. It is something that you’d like to do (eventually) but honestly, you don’t have the energy, time, money or mood to do it in this particular moment.
That’s where the mistake lies.
We humans… which includes me, you, Elon Musk, Vladimir Putin and that guy that sings Gangnam Style are AWFUL at predicting the future. We like to think that we can see exactly how A will lead to B, but truth be told, we can’t.
We don’t know what will happen in most cases.
Life’s too complex for that.
That small opportunity that you want to say no by default can open the door to the biggest opportunity of your life. I mean, I met my most important customer by writing an article for $35.
It wasn’t a $3500 project, it was a $35 one… which ended up to projects that are infinitely more important than that.
And I ended up meeting the girl I’ve traveled two years around the world by inviting her to go to a club while in Sicily even if I was a bit tired.
I could have said — no, I won’t do it tonight.
I don’t have time.
I don’t have energy.
But I did, and my entire destiny changed.
You are awful at telling how important stuff is… and how stuff that will happen will make you feel at some point in the future. You are awful at measuring the consequences of your actions and not just you, but me and everyone else.
So when you say no to something small — maybe you’re saying something to something very big. That coffee, that beer with friends, that vacation, that request — can be something that changes your life.
And while sometimes it won’t change your life…
… and while most opportunities aren’t wow, there are two things you need to take into account.
FIRST — You only need to be right once.
You need just one big opportunity to hit it big.
It takes only one meeting or one person to “get there”.
And if you say no to opportunities, you’ll also say no to that big opportunity. You see, big opportunities aren’t obvious. They don’t have a big sign telling you “YES, pick me”.
Sometimes, the life changing decisions and opportunities look quite bland and boring. Sometimes I’ve said? Most of the time is more accurate.
SECOND — If it’s not that good, you can always say no later.
That’s the thing — try.
If it doesn’t work for you, leave, but don’t leave before you try. It’s far more important to join whatever it is to join and then decide how this will help you — than it is to judge before you join.
Remember, we humans are awful at measuring consequence.
So it is imperative that you always SHOW UP… and if it doesn’t make sense, LEAVE. If it makes sense, STAY. But don’t stay at home saying that it wasn’t for you without even trying.
Because that’s how you stagnate.
That’s how you keep your options limited.
That’s how nothing ever changes — and to grow, and to be happy, change must be a constant.
So my policy is to say YES by default to most requests.
Best case scenario — it will be a life changing decision that will make a major impact into my life, or it will lead to this into the future.
Worst case scenario — I leave and lose just the activation energy. It’s not like I have to keep something that I don’t want to do. I always have choices.
I believe there is huge wisdom in being a YES MAN.
Sure, it isn’t cool. It isn’t glorifying or gratifying. And it feels a lot easier to say NO because it saves you of the effort of doing stuff. I mean, any YES requires effort and energy and money while saying NO requires none of that.
But I want my life to grow.
I want your life to grow too.
And growth comes by saying YES to life. It’s like Jordan said — you lose 100% of every opportunity you don’t take. I don’t guarantee that all opportunities will be THE OPPORTUNITIES, but I do guarantee that if you say NO, then none will be.
A 10% chance to success, happiness, joy and bliss is better than a 0%… and usually, the chance is way, way higher than 10%.
It’s higher than 50%.
But it starts with you…
… and with saying YES.
So tell me, dear reader, are you saying YES to life?
Both in a practical and figurative way?
How are you doing it?
Also, do you have a friend that should say YES more to life? Click the share button so he can read this or tag him in the comments section below.