Saying Yes to Yes
What is waiting for you to say yes to today? Is something stirring in you but you can’t move ahead? Do you wonder if it’s too late in your life to take something on? Maybe you have carefully said yes to the things you 'should', and then realize in the next years that all those ‘shoulds’ were safe, but weren’t really all that life-giving?
I come from a family that values making wise choices and avoiding doing anything not thought to be prudent. For me, that created a habit of putting a lot of time and energy into making decisions and consequently made for a less than juicy life. Even after I made decisions, I spent a lot of time tiptoeing in case I needed to pull back and reverse direction. A wise sage in my life taught me (not easily at first!) that we have to open the door in front of us so that we can see the doors behind it. Life has a grace to it and if we have a clarity about our core, we will ultimately land on our feet. My ability to say yes with greater ease continues to grow to this day!
A Meaningful Yes
Some of us have said yes to too many things and end up over-committed and not very satiated. I commonly see this when people are newly retired. They know they need to fill their time in new ways so they say yes to whatever crosses their path. They may feel busier than ever. And then after a few months or years, they may wake up one day and realize they are just going through the motions of staying busy. It's great to explore either from that core or with a great refinement plan.
In my last writing on saying no, I referred to Dan Rockwell’s blog on Purposeful Abandonment. He wrote, “People who can’t say ‘no’ chase all the spilled marbles at once. They’re confused and empty handed in the end. Too many yeses distract, weigh down, and waste energy.” Do you find yourself having said too many yeses with no refining process?
What's Right for You?
When and how do you say yes to the new in your life? What are the right yeses and the right new for you? What is waiting to come in if you make space and say yes? Just as saying no is an empowering choice, boldly saying yes to the right things (and not everything) helps us move ahead with clarity and in a way that doesn’t deplete our attention or energy.
I recently read a wonderful leadership blog by Dan Rockwell on Purposeful Abandonment. That is the theory put forth by Peter Drucker that organizations need to have an intentional process for more quickly abandoning systems and ideas that aren’t working. Dan Rockwell's blog was written under a banner that said, “Courageously say that boat don’t float".
Not Just for Organizations
That's not only a great practice for organizations, but also for our lives. As you are planning your next chapter in life, how are you making room for new things? As exciting as the new is, it's made all the better without the energy you have to expend on things that aren't in your best interest. What boats don’t float in your life? What have you felt duty-bound to stay committed to that is just plain not working? What process do you have for making peace with that and shifting it or letting it go.
Why We Hang On
Do you know why you are holding onto something that isn't working? There are times it makes sense to keep something if you are clear why you've made that decision. 'Because I'm stuck' or 'I don't have a choice' likely is not a reason to continue.
Ruth Tongen helps people plan and live meaningful, fun and healthier retirements.