Just say "NO"


I am the poster child for not being able to say no. For some reason, my actions stem from the belief that I need to take care of others before myself.


I remember about nine years ago when I ended up in the hospital, because of a disease of choice (yes, you read that right. I made choices that resulted in this condition.) I was in the hospital for over a week and my then-90 year old grandmother (who by the way is THE most wise person I know) wrote me a note as she was unable to come visit. She said, "Anita, you must learn to take care of yourself. If you don't take care of yourself, you will not be able to even help those around you."

Now I would like to say that I arose from that hospital bed, completely changed my life and I am a different person making altogether different choices because of that profound statement. I didn't. I am still working on it. All these years later. But I AM getting better.

Do you know that every time you say "yes" to something, you are saying "no" to something else?
That if you say "yes" to everything, then NOTHING is of real importance? You've just leveled the playing field to say everything is of the same importance.

Yes, it is easy when someone says, "Are you busy?" to say "no".
When they say "Got a minute?" we say "sure".

Be thoughtful when you answer.

If you are busy, say "yes, can we schedule a time to meet?" and when they want a minute of your time, say "no, can we schedule some time later?"

It's your 1440 minutes in a day. Yours to use. Or... yours to give away.

Some of you may remember the song "Cat's in the Cradle". The whole gist of this song is of a man who works all the time and all his boy wants is to spend time with his dad. The dad is too busy. The son grows up. The man retires. The man then aches for a connection with his family but now the son is too busy. "He'd grown up just like me" the man laments, realizing all too late that he sacrificed the best he could've had (a lasting relationship with his son) because he was busy with the good (providing and working for his family). Priorities. It's all about priorities.

USA TODAY did a survey many years ago to find out how much time the average dad spent in one-on-one conversation with their child in the average week (not yelling or screaming). The sad result was 7 minutes.
Is that child important? YES
Is that child a priority? Not really. I mean, he's going to be around for awhile, right? In some cases, they're still around in their twenties and thirties! :)

Priorities. What are you saying yes to?

Practice this:
The next time someone asks you to (fill in the blank) say "No thanks"


you can just buy some time so you make a right (for you) decision and say "Let me think about it".

We need to learn to say "No thanks" 10 times more than we say "yes" because, again, if we are saying "yes" to everything,
we are saying "no" to something important.

In Abundance,
Anita Lewandowski Brown