It’s okay to say “no”

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

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“NO” is the most common word to ever come out of a child’s mouth.  It’s an instinctual response to any question or suggestion for anyone under the age of three and that response is never second-guessed.  So why now, when we have the ability to reason and make an informed decision, based on what is best for us, do we find it so hard to utter that simple word and mean it?

“No” is a complete sentence.  It does not require any justification, nor does it need an explanation.  It is a succinct and pithy response that needs no further words to make its meaning understood.

For us to procure as much happiness as we can from each day we are afforded in this lifetime, we must learn to make our decisions by putting our happiness first.  We must set boundaries for ourselves and embrace and listen to the most important voice we will ever hear – our own.  It’s human instinct to want to please other people by saying yes, but how much of ourselves are we giving up by agreeing so quickly and not allowing that inner voice to offer its opinion.

If the answer in your heart is ‘no’, find a gentle way of not accepting the offer or challenge and let that three-year old voice in your head speak for both of you. That voice is giving you some sage advice. You should take it.

Throwing Rocks at Airplanes

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A good friend of mine posted this line on her Facebook a while ago and, although I thought it odd at the time, it seemed like an interesting title for a post.  I had absolutely no idea where I would go with it but figured something would strike me – and it did.

It seemed like such a bizarre thing to do, throwing rocks at airplanes (and I’m sure she probably did it), but then I realized we all need that crazy outlet – an activity that nobody else would understand, yet would make us revel in that childhood delight that makes us feel silly.  So often we get lost in the grind of day-to-day life, going to work, paying the bills and just being an adult, that we forget that there is a child inside us that still needs to occasionally thrive.

There are moments that you just feel like doing something frivolous and absolutely meaningless. In the chaotic scheme of our existence, spare time is fleeting.  We need to take that moment for ourselves and just – live.  Breathe in the essence of that younger version of ourselves and do something completely inane.

An activity that is profoundly useless allows us that break from reality.  It may not happen on a regular basis but, if given the opportunity, spend that time doing something inconsequential and completely idiotic.  There are many idioms for this very practice – dawdling, killing time, hanging around – but not many people feel that they can give themselves permission to have a moment of lunacy for absolutely no reason at all.  It may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you live somewhere that is still engaged in mid-winter, make a snow angel.  If you are in a warmer climate, jump in a puddle of rainwater.  Whatever it is that will satiate that moment of recklessness, grab onto it and don’t let go.  Ride that wave of memories from your youth and hold on for dear life.  When you allow yourself that brief moment of freedom, throwing rocks at airplanes may not seem so silly after all.