I have this weird character trait of being spontaneous, but only when I have control of the spontaneity. If other people try to apply spontaneity to me, I’m super reluctant to want to. I think it boils down to me not liking last minute plans (forced on me), and my time that I trade for saying yes to those plans.
But even so, I’m prone to saying yes to things without thinking about it enough.
When you are in the moment, and the response needs to be instant (or at least feels like it needs to be), there’s not a lot of time to think about how:
- Saying yes to one thing, means saying no to other things.
- Saying yes is a time contract. Whether immediate, or delayed, you are trading your time and reputation for each ‘yes’ you agree to.
- If you say yes to something haphazardly, and decide to not do it, or can’t actually commit to it because of other ‘yeses’ you’ve agreed to, you are lowering your reputation and reliability and replacing it with the dreadful state of being ‘flakey’.
- Am I saying yes because I want to impress someone / make them like me, or because I actually want to do it?
- All within the span of 1 second.
I don’t want to be automatic yes person, who goes through life saying yes to others plans and dreams for their life (and my own).
So what do we do?
How to Say Yes to what you actually want, and no to what you don’t.
- The more delay we can put in-between our answer to a commitment, the more we can think it through and determine whether or not we actually want to do it and that it aligns with who we want to be. The delay could be simply a pause, or even a response of something like, “give me X amount of time to think about it, and I’ll get back to you”.
- Ideally, we can plan ahead and have a list of the types of things we say yes to or not. If you’ve got it set in stone you are going to say no to sugary sweets or gluten ahead of time, then your no’s become automatic. “No thanks, I don’t eat gluten.” The same is true for not only food related yes’s but all times of time commitments as well.
- Set the expectation with the people who are in your life. Let them know what the types of things you will say yes or no too.
We need to guard our time like it’s your last bottle of water in the middle of a desert. Because in the grand scheme of the universe, our time here is like a bottle of water: gone before we even notice; valuable beyond imagination; a treasure to be protected.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner
Daily Blog #529