If you have been reading my blog posts for a while now, you might have seen a lot of mentions of James Clear. He is the best-selling author of Atomic Habits.
I find a lot of his writing filled to the brim with good advice and timeless wisdom.
There are a lot of times his ideas have opened up my mind and has brought in new perspectives. There have been instances where his thoughts have led to wonderful mindset shifts.
One of my most favourite ideas is from his quote, “No is a choice. Yes is a responsibility.”
Picture this. You are a busy person having a lot of responsibilities and commitments to adhere to. You find very little time to get some breathing space. Your to-do lists never seem to end and there is a constant inflow of tasks to be done and events to attend. And you wonder, “Why do I never get the time?” Sounds familiar?
But what if you sit down and try to understand how much of what you have to do is something that’s truly essential? Once you figure that out, you’ll find more time to indulge in meaningful activities.
When we say yes to whatever is demanded from us, that feeling of validation sets in. People who are always accommodating and agreeing are generally considered to be more reliable and respectable. And that is where we falter.
We find ourselves in a chain of commitments we have accepted to honour, whether or not it is something we wanted to do. Once you agree to something, people tend to take it for granted that you will always accommodate and be available.
No matter how much you convince yourself that you can do it all, the truth is that you are not a robot. You are a living, breathing human. There is a limit to how much a person can take on their shoulders. Increasing that load will bring nothing but agitation and discomfort.
James Clear states, “When you say no, you are only saying no to one option. When you say yes, you are saying no to every other option.”
I found this to be a wonderful mindset shift to adopt. Once you start honouring your time and boundaries and thinking before saying yes, it is going to bring a huge impact on your overall productivity and well-being.
People-pleasing is a very common habit a lot of us have. But what I have realised over time is that people in your life come and go. Only you remain with yourself forever. So isn’t it better we please ourselves and respect our time and capabilities? It is a difficult mindset shift to bring about. But why not try?
No is a choice. Yes is a responsibility.
And often, certain responsibilities only end up being burdensome. Choices, however, are entirely at your discretion. Aren’t they?
Time is precious for all. We need to choose ours wisely and well.
Until next time, stay blessed!