Say No

Sometimes the most disciplined and effective action is to take no action at all.  Saying “no” to a request or to chasing a new idea in mid-stream of a plan is the best decision.

Stopping to think slowly and deeply allows you to know with more certainty what to say no to.  Saying “no” allows us to say yes to and to concentrate more exclusively on only those things that matter the most.

Aligning and balancing “yes” or “no” decisions requires deliberate restraint.  Emotions and relationships complicate this if you allow them to.  A critical element of gaining wisdom and mastery is to continually focus to be the most productive, not the busiest.

Ryan Holiday (Stillness is the Key) provides these considerations as you make your way on your wisest, most productive course:

  • What is it?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Do I need it?
  • Do I want it?
  • What are the hidden costs?

“The advantages of nonaction.  Few in the world attain these.”  —  The Daodejing  —


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