No vs. Yes: What gives you a more fulfilling life?

Oh hello you!

Something that's been on my mind for a while, and I was talking a lot about it this weekend.

(To that, my pictures are a little recap!)

So let's just get to it.

I want to talk about the art of, and benefits to, saying NO.

Seems harsh, right? Let me explain. 

I can remember a time where I had written that I wanted to say YES to everything. I wanted to experience as many things as I could and continually see what I could explore, do, see, who I could meet, etc. 

That was about 3 years ago, and since I have lived my life a lot that way. Said yes to people, places and things. 

I helped others (I volunteered at various places in Chicago, NYC and LA let me know if you want info!), offered my time, energy and attention to anyone who asked no matter what I had on my plate. 

Not that I want to change or move away from service to others or sharing my time and energy, but I've decided I need to get better at saying 'no' to things that do not serve me.

It's the opposite of FOMO I guess and I've started to feel it since I started blogging. After you find your 'thing' or 'passion' or even person, a shift happens in your life.

Tim Ferriss describes the shift,

To become “successful,” you have to say “yes” to a lot of experiments.  To learn what you’re best at, or what you’re most passionate about, you have to throw a lot against the wall.

Once your life shifts from pitching outbound to defending against inbound, however, you have to ruthlessly say “no” as your default. Instead of throwing spears, you’re holding the shield.

With all of the things people have going on in their lives, friends, work, passion projects, working out, hobbies and family...there's a lot to manage and handle. Now with social media, there's a continual and constant 'to-do list that never actually ends' at your fingertips. 

As an example, this is the loop or list that many people run through MULTIPLE times a day. Including myself. In this list, it's NEVER enough. You could spend endless hours and time devoted to each item. 

Check your personal email.

Check your work email.

Check Instagram.

Check Facebook.

Check Snapchat.

Post to socials (filter, crop, edit, repeat).

Respond to any and all, and engage with everyone you can.

The list goes on.

If you've listened to The Big Leap Show podcast, you know that right now I'm blogging a LOT more, and that means - doing a whole bunch of other things on the side to make that work. It's interesting how my life has shifted. It's a 9-5 in a different way. It's more fluid and in touch, and there is flexibility to say 'yes' to people visiting, to helping others, and to doing things I normally couldn't with traditional work hours.

However, as I've asked for opportunities, to come my way, without being specific, the universe has provided me SO MUCH that I'm stuck at a place where I feel prohibited by the choices I have to make.

It seems I've said yes to seeing anyone and everyone.

Now with that, I'm stuck doing X, Y and of course, Z.

In California, there are CONSTANT visitors. It's truly, the best. I get to see everyone I love much more than usual, but also, your life becomes a vacation with people in town, and I realized that when I was leaving a visit with a friend on Friday how I've got at least 6 different plates going right now.

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
– Lin Yutang

The Hundred Blog, Let's Travel Morocco, nannying, events, friends, working out, family, and the looming decision to get a job and the effort that goes into that. I wonder if, with all of those things, how my energy is transferred and broken into each, that it's not as powerful. 

I can't even imagine if I had children, a wedding to plan, a super time intensive job.....(you people should probably be writing this post!)

Let me explain the struggle here.

Giving your energy to one task, and one task only means the focus and power of that full energy is committed to that project. With all of the 'yes' I've done, I have my energy dispersed into so many various channels, that it has to end somewhere, and it's probably not going far.

I realized that, in my quest for more by saying 'yes', that I am hindering my growth in the areas of my life which I should be excelling. By channeling, and saying 'no' to certain things, events, small things and conversations that I know won't truly serve me, there lies the possibility of having more energy in one place. 

To a better version of me.

When I am so dispersed to various outlets, it seems when I get to be with people I love, I feel drained and anxious because I have 'so much to do' and 'so little time'. I'm not my best self and I know it.

It's hard to consistently be on your game.

Thinking through how I would apply my no's is really the challenging part. I'd like to remove a few things on my plate, decide what truly matters and stick with that. I'm putting my phone on airplane mode for parts of the morning, so that I can focus on what I need to accomplish rather than get caught up on mindless phone related activities.

Derek Sivers, entrepreneur and writer, spoke about the "Hell Yeah" idea in his blog, which I really loved. Taking the approach of, if you're not saying "Hell Yeah" to something, then it's not worth your time.

Those of you who often over-commit or feel too scattered may appreciate a new philosophy I’m trying: If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then I say no.

Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” – then my answer is no. When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”

We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out.

I'm sure there are such good tools and tricks to helping with this and I'd love to just start this as a conversation, ya know? To see what you do to say 'no' and if you have a hard time doing it?

Is there a way to best leverage your energy to commit to something with unwavering belief and free of distractions? What constitutes those distractions?

A lot of mine involves social media, and the phone!

Let me know your thoughts, strategies and how you see this manifest in your life. Are you in the saying 'yes' phase, or saying 'no' phase in your life? How hard, is saying 'no' and how much more time would you have if you said no to certain things?

Really into this one, so I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Happy Wednesday!