Just Say No

No. When I say it to my son, he gets upset. He doesn’t like it because his request is something he wants at the time. But what kind of parent would I be if I said yes every time?

People don’t like hearing the word no. They believe their request is reasonable. What they are asking is to their benefit. To tell them no is inconvenient for them.

It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. -Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

If I am always saying yes, then I find an inability to get my own work done. It is difficult because I want to be nice. I want to be helpful. But doing so keeps me away from my goals, goals which are designed to benefit me and my family. I must learn to say no.

Maybe not for everything. Certainly not if I have nothing else going on.

Over the last few weeks, I have realized just how far behind I am. I had too many irons in the fire and was not making any progress on any of them. Would this have happened if I said no more often?

“No, I cannot watch your dogs, so you can have a spa day.”

“No, I can’t go to the winery for an afternoon of drinking and socializing.”

No. It is not that hard to say. I just need to get better at saying it.

Feature photo by Andy T on Unsplash

Carry On

Faith 11/15/2019

There are things that happened that were never planned. Accidents. Interruptions. Chaos. We can try to avoid them, but sooner or later we will all get caught up in the unforeseen. That’s life. Some things we can control. Others, we can’t.

And what will you do if tomorrow your life goes off the rails? Will you give up, throw in the towel, or maybe lose your faith? You can become a victim of the misaligned stars, or you can make the adjustment and move on. It is through adversity that we make real progress in life. If you become derailed, figure out the steps needed to get back on track.

I met up recently with an old friend from the Army. He retired not too long ago with twenty years in the service. When we first met, we were just kids playing in the woods during the week and doing kids’ stuff on the weekends. Back then, we had very little cares in the world. When we were reunited, I saw a combat veteran far removed from being a kid. After being involved with fourteen IEDs, the man now has a traumatic brain injury and God only knows what other internal problems.

My friend is barely in his forties. There is no changing his past; what has happened cannot be undone. He’s a family man with a wife and two kids. People depend on him, and the onus is on him to step up to the plate. He could wallow in his disabilities and go silently off into his death. He has valid excuses to do it. But, he may have another forty or so years to live. That’s still a lot of time to live. That’s still a lot of time to do something meaningful. What kind of life he will choose to live?

I know people roughly the same age as him. They have never been a part of that kind of trauma. Yet for some reason, they have already given up and resigned themselves to their fate. They have lost the grand ideals they had in their youth, and now they live as if they are old with one foot in the grave and the other not that far behind.

When I look at them, and when I think of my friend, I can only wonder what kind of futures are in store for them. Centuries ago, forty may have been considered old. Today, that’s about halfway to the average U.S. life expectancy. So much could be accomplished in forty years. It would be shameful to waste it.

Don’t let the setbacks in life completely pull you off the path. Find a way to overcome it and get back on. People are depending on the good we can accomplish in our lifetimes. Don’t let them down.

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. –Steve Jobs