Remember the last time you agreed to doing a favor or gig that was a few months out?
It sounded fun in the moment, but when the day arrives you wish you were doing anything but what you signed up for.
YES is like an iceberg.
In the moment, saying yes doesn’t look like much.
Sure, I’ll help you with your project. Sure, I’ll start a new hobby. Sure, I can travel for the job.
Small moments. Usually genuine yes’s. Of course you want to help a friend out, or travel to give a free speech, or start another new business. However, saying ‘yes’ is only scratching the surface of what you are committing to. Underneath the genuine impulsive yes, what you’ve just agreed to adds up to a lot more. Time and energy and bandwidth, being the biggest resources given to a ‘yes’. Most likely, we agreed to do something on the spot and hadn’t had time to process what saying yes actually means. We feel this especially when the commit is further out and not immediate.
A great way to handle this is to set a rule for yourself to never agree to something that’s X months away. (One month, three months, whatever feels right to you.)
Another great option is to think about the time required if you agree to it. I probably stole this from someone smarter than me, but imagine what you are agreeing to was happening today or this week. Would you say yes if you had to immediately drop everything to do it? Would you say yes if you had to do it in a few days?
Fundamentally, saying ‘yes’ means saying ‘no’ to something else, whether you wanted to or not. Often, our immediate mediocre yes’s crowd out our ability to say yes to what we actually want.
Even when you say yes to something you want, you are inevitably saying no to something else you want.
Ah, sweet sweet opportunity costs. How I hate thee.
At the end of the day, we only have so much time here on this earth. What are the few things that you want to say yes to more than anything? Do those. Say no to everything else.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner
Daily Blog #613