Last week we talked about how sometimes the plethora of opportunities that present themselves in our lives gets in the way of the quality. This week we will touch on why we love saying “yes”, why we don’t like saying “no”, and how we can find the quality of life we are yearning for.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were asked by a really great person to do something, attend something, make food for something, or volunteer for something? Even though you know your schedule is crazy busy, the word “yes” slips right on out. After all, this is a really great person asking me and it is a good cause. It feels good at that moment to say “yes!” You suddenly can’t ignore the unsettled feeling deep down in your soul though. You know you will need to figure out how to fit this in amongst all of the other opportunities that you and your loved ones have said “yes” to. But for now, it feels good to have said “yes”.
You are right! It has been shown that saying “yes” brings a good feeling to our bodies, much like the good feeling eating sweets, drinking caffeine, or filling our tummies with our favorite food. It literally feels good to say “yes”. We instantly feel approval. We instantly get a smile of appreciation. It instantly feels good.
The disappointment that we perceive when we say “no” to others. We generally don’t get a smile in return. We certainly don’t feel approved of. If there is any feeling that can be associated with saying “no” it would be the feeling of cold, not cozy. Then the guilt sets in. The person we just said “no” to is such a great person, they work so hard, we feel like we owe them. I just finished reading a book by Andy Stanley called Enemies of the Heart, where he talk about guilt. He explains that when we feel guilty, we feel like we owe someone something. I have found that to be true in my life.
No wonder the word “yes” flies off of our tongue so quickly!
Reality then sets in. How are we going to fit it all in? I guess the morning jog that I long for can wait another day. The kids are fine running around with me at night and the sit down dinner around our home table that I long for will just have to wait. I will have my significant other run to pick up the food for the next night’s event and we will eventually see each other when we all get home at night just to start in all over again the next morning.
I’m worn out just writing that paragraph, and I know there were probably a number of things I missed in that description. I do know something that was missing in the descriptions… many things that you hold dear to you as most important.
That just made my heart hurt a little. It feels so good to say “yes” until reality sets in. Reality does not feel good at all.
I do have a solution and a way for you to still get the good feeling by saying “yes”.
Take time to define what is most important to you, even define the pace of life you desire to live. Start saying “yes” to those things. Fill your calendar with those things. When the really great person comes up to you and asks you if you can add something to your calendar, here is what you do:
- You think about what you have defined as “most important” to you and ask yourself if this fits into those categories.
- You think about the pace of life you want to live and you ask yourself if this will help you live at that pace.
- You tell them you will take a look at your calendar and get back with them.
- You look at your calendar, which is starting to fill up with “most important” things and you make a decision…then you get back with that really great person with an answer.
- There is nothing wrong with telling someone you already have plans for that night, even if those plans are to cuddle up with a book on your couch to rejuvenate your soul.
It feels great to say “yes” to the best things, and you actually feel good deep down, even when you have to tell someone else “no”. You know you are living the life you want to be living by doing the things that are most important to you.
- Start adding a few things on your calendar that are things that are most important to you.
- Make one of those things “taking time to define what is most important to me, and the pace of life I want to be living.”
- Gradually transition the things on your calendar to the things that are most important to you and away from the “yeses” that are driven by the guilt of letting others down.
- Keep moving forward in this fashion, one step at a time!
Say “yes” to the best things! You got this!