My friend Patrick Rhone once said that “saying no is saying yes to other things.” Basically, he’s turning a negative into a positive with that phrase.
It’s something that I need to constantly remind myself about. I have an electronic button that I bought at a local dollar store that just screams the word “NO!” whenever I press it. It has moved to different places in my office, but now sits at my primary working space. You know, the place where I get email requests and things like that.
But it’s funny – I am far better at saying no to external requests than I am to internal ones. There are things that I consider doing, but instead of saying no I default to saying yes.
Here’s an example of that.
I have an email list designed to just receive updates for my upcoming book. I set up the landing page for that email list months ago. And I’ve sent exactly zero updates to date. I could have sent updates about the writing process so far. There are a few things that have happened that might’ve been worth sharing already. But I haven’t sent a single email yet.
And I haven’t decided when that first email will be sent. It will happen, but I don’t have a day locked down yet.
(That said, if you want to get that very first email and all subsequent book updates once I start sending them, you can sign up to receive them here.)
In the end, by intentionally not sending a single update as of yet, I’ve essentially said no to myself. And I’ve made that intentional choice of saying “no” in other situations, too. I’ve intentionally chosen to say yes to other things. The things I’ve really needed and wanted to do.
You see, the word “no” doesn’t have to be negative. It can be a positive thing. It’s all in how you use it.