Every yes is a no. And every no is a yes.

Speaking, of course, in terms of those things we choose to spend our time, energy, or money on. Because when you say “yes” to something you have, by definition, said “no” to something else – some other thing that you could have spent that time or energy or money on. It’s a total numbers game.

Assuming we’re all mortals, which I am going to do, I think this is obvious.

I cannot be in two places at once, nor can you, and no matter how much we might wish for them, no additional hours are going to be granted us in the day. Twenty-four is pretty much it.

So, when you or I choose to say “yes” to anything we are, by definition, saying “no” to something else.

This is not a bad thing.

Our “no’s” are incredibly powerful. They can change our lives as much as our “yes’s” can.

For example, I might say “yes” to taking a class, learning a new skill or a new language. Or I might say “yes”, I will take thirty minutes today to go for a walk. Saying “yes” usually feels great, even empowering, and it is. Growth is always wonderful. But with my “yes” to that class or that walk or that commitment to learn something new, I am also saying “no” to something that I might have done instead.

No – I’m not going to binge-watch that series that I love (even though this would be super fun and I really do love it.) I’m going to class instead.

No – I’m not going to sleep in this morning (even though I really want to). I’m going to lace up my sneakers and go for that jog.

No – I’m not going to hang out with friends this Friday, even though I would like to. I’m going to stay in and study.

Every yes is a no. But every no is a yes.

And it’s important to acknowledge the “no’s”. It’s important that we understand our “no” might be a “no” to something good. It’s great to spend time with friends, and sleeping in is the best. Binge-watching? Don’t even get me started. This could very well be one of my top-ten things to do. But that could just be the pandemic talking.

The point is, you’re going to say “no” to some pretty great things – in order to do some greater things. You’re going to have to. Assuming that you’re mortal, and I’m going to assume that you are, you have limited time and energy and resources. Where you spend them matters.

It’s a total numbers game.



Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” (~Theophrastus) “It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.(~Jean Nidetch)

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