No or yes?

I love this bit from Jason Fried and David H. Hansson’s book “It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work.” 

No is easier to do, yes is easier to say.

No is no to one thing.

Yes is a no to a thousand things.

No is a precision instrument, a surgeon’s scalpel, a laser beam focused on one point. 

Yes is a blunt object, a club, a fisherman’s net that catches everything discriminately. 

No is specific.

Yes is general. 

I’m cocksure this will resonate with you and anyone who might read it (now or years down the lane). We’ve been brought up to believe that saying “yes” is polite and the right thing to do. It opens up a whole host of possibilities that’s just not available if you say “no” or aren’t ready for it. 

But is that the case? More often than not, saying “yes” might have caused us to turn away from alternative opportunities and possibilities that could’ve changed the way life has turned out for us. 

Just pause and reflect on some of the decisions you’ve made in the past couple of years. Particularly the ones that didn’t work out for you. The ones you said “yes” to. What alternative possibilities did you shut out because of that? 

I love saying “no,” because you can always come back and yes “yes” later. When you’re ready or have thought through the situation or feel that the alternatives aren’t that great, but it’s so damn hard to say “no” after having said “yes,” because of which we stay stuck to our decisions and go all the way to regret it. 

The hardest part about saying “no” is that it sounds crude and insensitive. And in some cases, it very well might be. But it takes a lot less stress, overwhelmed, and pain to live with a “no” than a “yes.” So, get over it.

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