Is it worth saying no?3 min read

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What’s the common denominator in the world’s most successful people? People like Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford or even Thomas Edison.

We think of Warren Buffet as one of the most successful investors in the world, Elon Musk for Space-X, Pay Pal or Tesla, Richard Branson for The Virgin Group of Companies, Steve Jobs with Apple, Henry Ford for the Model T & the V-8 motor or even Thomas Edison for his many inventions.

When we think of these highly successful individuals, we generally think of all the things they created or did.

What’s also interesting about these successful people is we seem to see them as more relaxed and less stressed, and yet they accomplish so much more?

What’s their secret?

The simple truth behind their notable accomplishments didn’t necessarily come from the things they said yes to, the success lies in what they said no to. These mega-moguls truly understand how valuable their time is and with that – they have no problem consistently saying “no” to the things that don’t serve their prime focus.

Warren Buffett once famously said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

Do we have a problem saying no? Are there times when we say “yes” to things for the fear of disappointing someone else? 

Have you ever said “yes” to something or someone that you really wanted to say no to? How did that make you feel afterward? Were you left feeling energized and focused or frustrated and stressed?

To be ultra-successful, we need to be very clear of our vital functions, the one or two things that truly move us toward our ultimate goal. You will find when you are laser focused on what’s most important, it becomes easy to say no to everything else. Only when armed with this intentionalism of purpose will the true priorities take precedence.

Understand that every time you say “no” to something that is not important, you are saying “yes” to something that is.

At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 1997, Steve Jobs shared on where his success came from and on the importance of saying no. “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other ideas that are out there. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done the things I have. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” These are obviously the words of a highly focused individual.

Remember, we’re all given the same amount of time. What makes a difference is what we choose to say yes to and what we say no to in the value of that time.

Enjoy your new journey of living in the world of what is truly important of your valuable time and saying no to everything else.