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The two most powerful words in any language

Life is a sum

Will you marry me?

I bet you many took the chance to pop the question this Valentine weekend.

Some got the answer they were looking for, others were not so lucky, but at least they were brave enough to take the leap.

As you’ve probably noticed, all decisions boil down to these two powerful words: yes and no.

Ultimately, they are the two most powerful words in any language. But how can we use them to live a more fun and meaningful life?

When to say yes

When you absolutely, one hundred per cent can’t say no.

When that feeling of regret creeps up on you the instant you find out about the opportunity. You say things like:

I’d never forgive myself if I turned this down. 

This is the hell yes approach to life (courtesy of Derek Sivers). And it works well as a general thumb of life. Why do something if you don’t want to do it?

Saying yes also works if:

  • You’re bored (saying yes will make something happen)
  • You’re feeling alone (saying yes will make you meet someone)

Unfortunately, yes can also be seductive, especially if you like to please others. You want to be helpful and that’s great, but there are a few people who will take advantage of this (been there).

That’s when you need to use that other word: no.

When to say no

When you need to set up healthy boundaries. When you want to guard your time from constant interruption.

When your resources are spread thin, and you need to find a way to prioritise. This usually happens when you have more responsibilities, and you become more “famous”. Okay, maybe not Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt famous, but famous enough that many people are vying for your attention.

When you need time to recharge your batteries and you’re running out of G.A.S. When you need to get selfish and look after yourself.

Saying no works when:

  • You’re busy (saying no makes it easier to say yes when that HELL YEAH feeling pops up)
  • You’re tired (saying no to tasks and events helps you save energy)

The fine balancing act between yes and no

Yes and no are powerful words that reflect the quality of your life.

But every day gives you the opportunity to answer anew. Use the words wisely, and to the best of your ability. Remember you have the power to choose your response.

The first step is to become aware when we say and no. The second step is to be playful and start experimenting with them.

Make it a T-day challenge to say yes to opportunities that come your way. Observe what happens. Then, do the opposite and see what comes from that.

When do you say yes and no? Share your thoughts in the comments!

2 responses to “The two most powerful words in any language”

  1. Virginia Avatar

    Paying attention to your intuitive sense also helps. Also, is the yes response also coming from your heart? Good points Olle.

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