People often feel that the word “Yes” is the most important factor of meeting goals, achieving personal growth, and being productive. For example, we think we have to say “Yes, I’ll exercise. Yes, I’ll save money. Yes, I’ll read that book. Yes, I’ll call that person.” Etc. But here’s a secret that great implementers share… The word “No” is actually more important than “Yes.”
Learning to say “No” is perhaps the greatest factor for maximum achievement. “No, I won’t hit the snooze button again. No, I won’t buy that item that I really don’t need. No, I won’t channel surf for the next thirty minutes. No, I won’t have that third extra large chalupa. No, I won’t put that phone call off again.”
Of course saying “Yes” to the right things is effective. But so often people say “Yes” to the wrong things. “Yes, I’ll go to that movie” – when we really should be getting to bed early so we can get up and do something more productive the next morning. Or “Yes, I’ll take that last piece of pie” – when we really should be watching our intake. Or “Yes, I’ll buy that” – when we really shouldn’t be loading up the credit card.
Every “Yes” is actually many more “Nos.” “Yes, I’ll watch the movie” is “No, I won’t invest those two hours reading, exercising, talking to my spouse, learning something new, etc.” “Yes, I’ll buy that” is “No, I won’t buy something else, or save the money, or use these resources to help someone in need.” On and on it goes.
Meeting goals is about making choices. Those choices often come down to one of two simple words… “Yes” and “No”… and both words are immeasurably important.