My long time pal Joe Calloway advises to say no more often so you can concentrate on what matters most. Personally, I’ve used his advice to great advantage.
Saying no is a skill but so is saying yes. A good yes is never tentative. The best decisions are made with gusto and implemented enthusiastically. I’ve noticed a few areas that people hesitate to say yes. To avoid an anemic yes, here’s what I suggest you say YES to:
Say yes to challenge. It is easy to think you’re not up to it. Why add any more challenge to you life than you already have? While there are a few challenges you might have good reason to say no to, say yes to the challenges that stretch and grow you. My wife Darla has sagely pointed out that I tend to do best when giving a presentation in a challenging situation. Challenge can bring out the best in you.
Say yes to fun. Too much fun can be frivolous, but I don’t see very many leaders or business people doing that. It is easy to get so focused and absorbed in our work that we forget to enjoy it and have fun. Sometimes you can have fun, but you can make the situation fun by the attitude and energy you bring to it.
Say yes to better relationships. Anyone can spread him or herself too thin relationally. If you are continually networking and connecting with new people, you can give too little attention to the relationships you already have. Improving and deepening relationships that matter to you is always something good to say yes to.
Say yes to service. Service allows us to share some of our blessings while at the same time helping us to appreciate those blessings even more. It is one of the best ways to improve the world around you and keep you grounded in reality.
Say yes to opportunity. Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard—and I don’t know who originally said it—is: put yourself in the place of maximum opportunity. Sometimes opportunity finds you but more often than not, you have to search for it. Belong to groups that challenge and stimulate you. Associate with people who are undertaking and making things happen. And when you do find opportunity, don’t pass it by because of lethargy.