A Lesson from Leon. How to say the most important word...
A friend asks us to go somewhere but we're busy. We either say "yes" and flake or we say "no... I'm super sorry..." But are we sorry? It's good to let your friend know you still care about them... But why don't we say "No, but I still care about you! I'm just busy."
Few of us appreciate the importance of "no."
"No" has become the new curse word. We all should say it more often. That way those vague promises to hang out disappear and we're left with promises kept.
Parents pressuring you into a career? But you want to do something else like make Youtube videos, write a travel blog, or work the street corners in the red light district? (Pro tip, don't tell your parents about the last one... I made that mistake) Saying "yes" when your entire future is on the line puts your life's fulfillment in jeopardy.
In my talk with Leon Chaudhari (link), I discover the 19-year-old soon-to-be two-time millionaire entrepreneur received an offer for a PhD at the age of 18.
What did he do?
He said "no."
I am going to repeat this again. Leon Chaudhari, at 18-years-old, said "no" to receiving a PhD.
No, he's not crazy. I actually asked him why he did this. It confused me.
He did this because he didn't have time to focus on the research and writing a dissertation.
In the age of neediness, when many of us are saying "yes" to fill others' leaky non-whole selves up, we forget to seal our schedules and let in only what will help us evolve, saying "no" to law school, because we don't have to impress anyone, and "yes" to aerobics classes so we can become attractive for a stimulating job in the red light district, because that's what would make us feel fulfilled.
I urge you all to examine how you feel the next time you say "yes." If you feel uneasy, try saying "no" instead. Perhaps you will begin to respect yourself again.