Two Words to Change Your Life

Yes or no? That seems like such a simple question. Except the results that come from the answer are often anything but simple. 


The answer can literally change your life. 


Most people focus on the “yes” side of that question. That’s because they often assume that their success will come from what they decide to do. That’s often a correct assumption. It’s also often not a correct assumption.


Your success will just as often be determined by what you don’t do as what you do. The things you say no to, the thing you choose not to do, some of the things you’ve been doing that you decide to not do anymore can have every bit the impact on your success as the things you say yes to.


It’s common to assume that to have more you must do more. Every day business people talk about the need to do MORE, often with less resources. We hear more more more all the time. 


But here’s the problem with doing more…and more and more. You don’t get more time to do it. You can only do so much and by saying yes to everything you’re asked to do you will eventually wear yourself out. 




Unless you say no to some of the things you’re already doing. When I offer that “say no” advice to people in workshops or presentations I’m told “but I can’t stop doing anything, it’s all important.”


Well not exactly. If you would stop for a minute or two and actually evaluate how you use your time each day I’d bet you would discover LOTS of things that you do that add no value to you or anyone else. Maybe they did at one point but they don’t anymore. Yet you keep doing them because you’ve “always” done them. 


What actions or activities do you preform on a daily or almost daily basis that give you no return for your investment of time? When was the last time you asked yourself that question? 


You have 1440 minutes in a day. No more and no less. Exactly like every other person on the planet. 


So how is it that some people seem to have so much more time than you? Well they don’t automatically say yes to anything and they say no to far more things than less successful people. 


It’s probably true that if you want more you’re going to have to do more to get it. But don’t forget, in order to do more productive things you have to stop doing less productive things first. 

Say no more often so you can enthusiastically say yes more often too. One no or the yes that follows it could even change your life. 

4 thoughts on “Two Words to Change Your Life

  1. Hi, Steve! Thanks for such great advice! I recently had to prioritize my time at work so that the most important things got my “yes” and the less important ones, “no”. It has been a game changer because many of the things I say “yes” to end up resolving or handling those things I say “no” to. I really enjoy reading your posts!

    1. Thanks Bryan. President Eisenhower said “The urgent is seldom important and the important is seldom urgent.” It sounds like you have figured how to separate the important things from the merely urgent things. That is a skill that is vital to success. Good for you!

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