Don’t just say no, say yes to something more important

Eight months. I only have to make it though another eight months…

That’s when, my youngest, my little lord tyrant (and I say that with love), will be three years old. Intellectually, I know that the terrible twos don’t magically end just because the calendar changes, but it’s a date I am currently clinging to like a life raft.

No, I don't like it!

No, I don’t like it! (Photo credit: pand0ra23)

We had another dinner stand-off the other night. I was determined that my toddler at least try the food on his plate. It was delicious and cooked perfectly. I was convinced that if I could only get him to taste it, my toddler would willingly eat the rest. My son, on the other hand was equally convinced that I was trying to poison him.

I tried all the basic tricks. Pretending the food on the fork was an airplane coming into the hanger. I asked my older son to join me in by making loud, “Yum!” sounds. But my toddler would just say no as he smiled and turned away with his whole body.

I finally managed to get a fingernail sized piece of broccoli on his tongue through the use of stealth and trickery. He retaliated with the nuclear option; regurgitating everything he had eaten since breakfast two days prior, all while I stood there helpless. I guess this time he was serious about his no. Another round goes to the kiddo.

balance scale

balance scale (Photo credit: winnifredxoxo)

I read an article the other day stating that the term work life balance was misleading. It argued that balance, by its definition, required two equal, yet opposing forces. Therefore to achieve balance, your work had to be the opposite of your life. Considering the fun bodily fluids I get to clean up at home, having an opposite work environment is rather appealing. But I understand the point that the author was trying to make. Because you spend so much of your life at work, the last thing you would want is work that takes away from your life, rather it should add to your life.

I have begun the rewrite process of my novel with the hopes of have a manuscript ready to be sent to an editor by the end of July. I continue to get asked, how do I find the time to write a new novel, promote the first, manage staff, and raise two boys. I fully admit that I have a lot going on, but it could be much worse.

Steve Jobs once said that he “was as proud of what we don’t do as what we do.” He was talking about the products they thought of but choose not to bring to market. Rather than flooding the market with dozens of similar products with slightly different features and benefits, Apple focused on perfecting a singular product line.

My plate might look full at the moment, but it could have been overwhelming. As much as I am proud of what I am doing, I am equally proud of the opportunities I have turned down over the years.

I was previously offered a role within my company with increased responsibilities. The role would require me to use skills I have, but skills I don’t want to develop further. I would receive no growth satisfaction and by accepting it, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would become miserable. I thanked them for the offer, but told the management team that I would prefer to continue what I was doing. I explained why I was turning down their offer, what about the role wasn’t appealing, and what I wanted to do more of instead. I could tell they were stunned, but I had to remain true to my personal goals. By saying no, I ensured that I wasn’t a completely burnt out shell of my former self when another, more fitting, opportunity came my way later.

don't just say no

don’t just say no (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk)

You can say no and not commit career suicide. You should say no with confidence whenever you know the opportunity is counter to your personal goals. No is one of life’s most liberating phrases. It is a word most adults don’t say enough, at least not when it matters.

It is also a word I look forward to hearing less from my toddler’s lips. Until then, would you please pass the towel?

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Don’t just say no, say yes to something more important

  1. Yes. “No” is a word that some of us, especially women don’t say often enough. Maybe because we’re wired to please. But I’ve found that if I do something that I didn’t really want to do, it eventually tells on me.

    Like

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