It’s been about five months since I’ve written here.  About five months ago I was three chapters into a dissertation journey that started back in 2013.  About five months ago I was overwhelmed and wondering how I’d ever complete that journey.  (The final product is only five chapters, but man were those last two painful!)

About five months ago I did something that I’ve never been very good at.

I started to learn to say no.

Today, I’m writing again here.  I’m putting some new projects on my radar that I put on hold for a while.  I’m saying yes to some things that I’ve wanted to say yes to for a while because last Friday I turned in my completed dissertation.

And you know what I learned in this process?

The no paved the way for the yes.

Actually, the “no’s” paved the way for the “yes’s”.

I know this is like Leadership 101 and we’ve all heard this, agreed with this, and maybe even taught this; but the reality is not many of us practice this.  Not many of us have the willingness or the discipline to say the “no’s” we need to say in order to get to the “yes’s” we need to get to.

And in the words of the Apostle Paul, “I am the chief of sinners.”

I’m not writing this to say I figured it all out.  I’m writing this to say I’m writing here today because I finally said no to the right things and yes to the right things and my dissertation is finished and my daughter stored my name in her phone as “Dr. Daddy” and that felt pretty stinking cool and had I never said the “no’s” it took to finish the paper the stinking cool thing wouldn’t have happened.

So no’s are worth it.

Period.

What should/could you say no to this week?
What “YES” have you been putting off because you haven’t said the right “NO”?

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