It only takes you a second to decide, and you quickly say “no.”
Now think back again, but this time to a time where you really wanted to be with someone. The person asks if you want to meet at a restaurant for lunch, and you know that this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Smiling to yourself, you’re happy to have this chance to meet up with this person, so you quickly tell them “no.”
If this sounds strange, you’re absolutely right. Neither one of these situations would cause you to say “no.” In fact, in both scenarios you would find yourself giving an emphatic “yes!” Of course you will accept your first job offer or take an opportunity to spend time with a person you care about. If you didn’t, who knows what that opportunity would have been like? Who knows what you’d have missed?
Yet each day, all of us say “no” to new opportunities that could have accelerated growth in our lives. Why?
We think that we have good reason to decline opportunities
And maybe we do. But perhaps we should make it a habit of examining our reasoning before we say “no” to a proposition. Is it because we are focused so much on the short term that we cannot see a benefit to investing time into a venture that may not pay off until the future, if ever? Or is it that we are so used to refusing offers and opportunities that our negative response has become a knee-jerk reaction? Maybe we even say no because we aren’t fond of the person presenting the opportunity, although the idea is perfectly good – could that be? Of course, there are many factors that cause us to say no to opportunities and this is by no means an exhaustive list. My point is, we should carefully look at our reasoning for declining an opportunity so that we do not haphazardly pass by something good. I’ll admit, sometimes saying no is our only option – it can be a way of budgeting our limited supply of time and waiting for a better opportunity that we couldn’t have if we were committed elsewhere – but again, we run the risk of missing great things if we don’t examine the reasons for our answer.
How can we say yes to more things?
We can only say yes to things that we have time to do. And with a limited allotment of 24 hours each day, this presents us with a dilemma: we can’t possibly say “yes” to everything. Although this is true, we can still budget and use these 24 hours as wisely and efficiently as possible. Making lists of the things we need to accomplish each day will help us stay on track, while eliminating unproductive uses of our time will make more room for opportunities that arise.
In the end, you have to make time for opportunities that come up. Then when they arise, you’ll be able to say “yes” while watching the future get brighter before your very eyes.