“You may ask anything of me except my time!” — NAPOLEON
The ability to say no is one of a life well lived’s greatest weapons. My wife is a “yeser.” She will look after your dogs, horse, or pet iguana. She will drive you to the airport 84 miles away or pick you up if you ask, all on her own dime, including five bucks worth of tolls each way. She says yes to almost every party invitation, no matter how boring it will be.
The simple act of saying no will save you more time, energy, and effort than you can ever imagine.
In an “overdone” effort to try to please everyone, we often find ourselves taking on more and more responsibility and activities that very often serve to overwork and overstress us. This, in turn, causes us irreparable harm rather than helping.
You know what I mean. Glenda calls and asks you to help on the church fundraising committee even though you already volunteer for the Cancer Society and the Rotary Club.
Then Bob calls and asks if he can count on you to coach the Little League team five nights a week, even though you have just finished coaching a team during soccer season. So it goes on and on: demands on your time, energy, and effort.
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At some point, you simply have to say, “No, I am sorry, but I can’t.” Try it; it’s not that hard, and the people asking to get over your refusal very quickly. In fact, they are already calling someone else.
Put aside X amount of time in your weekly plan to help your church, school, community, or friends. Once that time is used up, it is gone, and there is no more.
I do not wait at airports; I send a town car to pick up friends or suggest they rent a car at the airport. That way I never waste hours waiting for a delayed plane.
I do not go to boring parties and I don’t volunteer for anything. If I am asked to play in a charity golf event, I will usually sponsor a hole or make a donation rather than play in a five-and-a-half-hour scramble from the front…