The Key to Living the Life you Want

In todays culture the competition for our time, energy, attention, money, skills and abilities is endless.  The demands come from family, friends, clients, employees, vendors, business partners, and most of all ourselves.  It is very easy to find ourselves overloaded, overwhelmed, out of time and energy and living well beyond healthy limits.

Photo Credit - *_Abhi_*

Photo Credit – *_Abhi_*

We even find ourselves stretched thin by good things.  In America we have many opportunities.  We have sports, recreational activities, extracurricular activities for our children, church activities, limitless valuable information, and even Facebook.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@brianmininger” suffix=”#Leadership #purposedrivenlife”]An overload of good stuff is still an overload, and that robs us of our enjoyment of everything.[/inlinetweet]

For someone like me, my ideas are endless.  I have always joked that if I was dropped on a deserted island with shelter, and all the food that I needed, within a few hours I would have enough projects to keep me busy for years.  Are you like that too?
There is one simple action you can take in your life to set yourself free from this “rat race”… Learn to say “NO!”
Why is saying “NO” so difficult?  We want to say “yes.”  We want people to like us.  We want to meet their expectations.  We want to take advantage of our opportunities.  We don’t want to waste time.  We want to be good at what we do.  We say “yes” for many reasons that don’t relate to our “one thing.”  If we are going to live a fulfilling life, here is the key. Clearly define our “one thing” and then say “yes” and “NO” based on that purpose.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@brianmininger” suffix=”#leadership #purposedrivenlife”]Saying “yes” is easy.  It is saying “NO” that usually derails our efforts to live our lives on purpose.[/inlinetweet]

Here are 5 steps to help you say “NO.”

  • Start by saying “NO” to yourself – Not every idea needs to be acted on at this time.
  • Hit the pause button – When you are asked to do something, don’t answer right away.  Ask for time to think about your decision and give them your answer later.
  • Set predetermined limits – Decide in advance how you are going to spend your time.  Then, when you receive a request you have a framework to help you make a good decision.
  • Practice saying “NO” to little things – If this is really difficult for you, say “NO” to something small and incidental.  Then you can work up to saying “NO” in more difficult situations.
  • Be aware of distractions – Sometimes the things we need to say “NO” to, are little distractions like email, Facebook, or other busy work.  These things can take a huge amount of productive time away from us.

Remember that every time you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else.  We all have a finite amount of time.  We want to choose to invest that time where it matters most.

What strategies do you use to help you say “NO?”

Leave your thoughts in the comments below

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