Yes and No

Oh my word. You guys. I'm on draft number five. Five. I still haven't sent it.

You see, I have to send an email. An email I don't want to send. It's time.

I've been living my life in a way that I would tell a client not to. Whoops.
I've been letting my "yes-es" run away with me. It goes like this: Do I want to volunteer for this task force? Yes! Do I want to do research? Yes! What about construction and expand a nonprofit? YES! Supervise more interns? Yes please! What about working through lunch to accommodate one more "extra" client? But of course! I love them!

...You see my problem... Every single one of these things is a heartfelt "yes". They are easy yes-es. Better yet, every single one is something I believe deeply in. They all contribute to my personal and professional goals. And they give my life deep meaning and connection.

So YES to them all!

Except... that turns out to be a faulty plan. It works splendidly for the first few times. But it hits a limit. Everything reaches capacity eventually. It turns out that humans are no exception.

And so, I have to write an email. It's a "no" kind of email. A "no" to something really awesome. Gulp.

Photo By Toby
I don't wanna say no!

Do you know what I talk about with clients when they bring this up? The ways that "Yes-es" and "No-s" work together. The way that every "yes" to something is a "no" to something else. And the reverse is true as well. When we are intentional with our precious time and energy, it is true freedom. We enable ourselves to live fully.

And so our "yes" is precious. In a finite lifespan, time and energy is our most precious resource. To say "yes" is to make a withdrawal from that precious account. To say "yes" is to give away the most expensive piece of yourself. If you do it well, you will get meaning in return. But never time. That cannot be returned. So the investment must be intentional.

This is what I say to clients when we discuss this. It's a good thought, right?

And here I sit. I'm on draft five with no end in sight. I'm afraid to hit "send". Afraid because I can't take it back. Once I've said "no", then that opportunity has passed. I'm afraid I'll regret it. I'm afraid it won't come again. But that's just it. I don't want to say "no" because I'm afraid.

And fear is a terrible reason to do anything. 

I don't know if you've experienced this, but from my perspective, any decision made in fear usually turns out to be the worst idea ever. And so I at least know this much: when my reasons for doing something turns out to be a list of fears... I need to stop in my tracks.

And so, I'm writing an email.

Wish me luck!

May your "yes mean yes and your no mean no",

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