No - is a powerful word. It is the most effective word to use to express a lack of interest in doing something. It makes the point abundantly clear and ends the conversation on the topic you were asked about. This two-letter word holds so much weight because it conveys a direct, firm, and certain response. For this reason, it's also a word people tend to fear.
It is human nature to take responses personally, even when it's not personal. The use of the word no tends to evoke feelings of rejection. Especially around phrases like: no, I won't go out with you; no, I don't like the meal you offered; no, I don't want to be your friend; no, I'm not interested in what you're selling. Yes, its understandable to feel disappointed initially by the outcome of the question or, offer that prompted any of the mentioned responses, but its unwise to remain disappointed. It would be short-sighted to not see beyond the initial outcome and focus on the bigger picture.
The greater meaning behind the no could mean various things. It could mean that this person isn't the right one for you to partner with on a relational or business level. Or, that they may not be interested today because your product or service is not the right fit for them. Or better yet, the no could simply be a timing issue and mean - not yet. These are all great outcomes of being told no. It provides immediate clarity and lets you know where you stand with another individual.
The determined person will see this as motivation to continue to persist until they find the Yes. The journey to connecting with the right people takes time and requires a strong level of determination to not be easily swayed by disappointments along the way. The rewards on the other end of that journey, will be worth the challenges you experience before the promise. The bigger question is, are you willing to do what it takes anyway? Do yourself a favor and decide today and everyday to go for no.
In the previous post on this series, I talked about how gathering evidence is a necessary component of the decision-making process. How can you weigh options if you can't see what those options are in the form of data? So now that you have gathered the facts, its time to evaluate them. The evaluation process in decision-making is where your priorities/concerns/preconceived notions meet qualitative and quantitative truth. This is the opportunity to weigh what you want against the reality of what is. When evaluating, consider the following:
What are the costs behind each option?
What are the benefits of each option?
What are the drawbacks behind each option?
What are the unknowns?
Are there possible solutions to overcome the potential setbacks behind each option? If so, at what cost? And if not, is it worth more research and cost to find out?
How will each outcome impact my overall goal?
This is not an exhaustive list of considerations, but it is a guide to steer you into making the decision that works best for you.
In noun form, embonpoint means excessive plumpness; stoutness. In adjective form, the word means to be plump or stout. Embonpoint first emerged in our vocabulary in the mid-1600s in France and Great Britain. Here are some examples:
Her choice of clothing to the banquet embraced her embonpoint figure.
He recalls being taunted for his embonpoint, as a child.
So in the previous post, I mentioned the first component to making better decisions is gaining clarity of purpose. This means to clearly define and understand the intent or goal behind your decision. Once that is established, then comes this next step - gather evidence.
What are the facts, the data behind evaluating which car to purchase, which city to live in, which job to accept or reject, what business you want to start or what college you should attend? Gathering the facts and figures is critical to moving beyond your feelings (which can be fickle) to having some hard evidence behind your maybes, yes and no(s). The data presents the statistics, figures behind every option. The data in and of itself, can't determine the right course of action for you, but the facts help you build a case, or paint a picture of the details behind each option you are considering.
So when gathering evidence, do your due diligence to ensure that your sources are credible while keeping in mind that these pieces of information are leading to the puzzle (of indecision) finally being solved. Evidence gathering in the decision-making process will end up empowering some of your options while closing the doors to others.
One of the most common areas people from all walks of life wrestle with is how to make decisions. It has become this stressful process that leaves most feeling frustrated because after many hours of weighing options and imagining outcomes, there still doesn't seem to be a final decision. Why does it seem so difficult to make important decisions?
Let's tackle what is perhaps the most obvious reason - the fear of making a mistake. This fear can be crippling in its effect. One imagines the worse case scenario for each possible outcome and rather than move forward with a choice, it seems easier, or safer rather, to remain in the place of indecision. In that space, there is an assumption, albeit an incorrect one, that negative consequences only come with making a decision. This minimizes the feelings of torture that come with not being able to move forward with a choice. One of the main reasons this happens is due to a lack of clarity in purpose.
Why does this particular decision need to be made? What is the intent, objective or goal behind this decision? Being able to articulate the reasons for your decision, will pave a clearer path forward to making the right choice.
Clarity of purpose is the necessary first step one needs to take, in order to become effective in making decisions.
"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it." - Maya Angelou
The word defeat has a negative connotation. It means you failed to succeed at a task, mission, or objective. You fell short of making it happen. Things didn't work out the way you intended. And the outcome was a disappointment. We tend to do everything in our power to avoid it. But in my opinion, failure gets a bad rap.
Failure is actually a greater teacher than success. In instances where you've stepped out of your comfort zone and taken risks to test out an idea, the fact that it didn't quite work out was a teaching moment. It revealed what couldn't work, and led you closer to what could eventually work. There are lessons we will only learn through failure. Yet we have a tendency to want to play it safe. To want to stick to what's tried and true, because we're risk adverse. Well, most people are, anyway.
The popular saying, fail your way to success or fail your way to the top, is true because failure presents opportunities to refine, retool, or reshape the mission at hand, until it's at a quality that leads to success. Failing over and over on the journey to the top means valuable preparation for what it will take to not only achieve success, but to sustain it. The insights gained during the journey, are ones that not only transform you the individual, but the community that is eagerly anticipating your success.
To persist or not persist? That is the question. Don't give up they say. Follow your dreams. Stay the course. But how do you pursue your goals in a healthy way? The complexity in the path to achieve success means being willing to do what most wouldn't do - remain consistent and embrace appearing crazy!
So what does a healthy pursuit of your goals actually look like? And when is it time to actually throw in the towel and abandon the dream altogether? Here are some insights to consider:
Is it a passion or an interest? Being passionate about a goal plays a critical role in sustaining your commitment in difficult seasons. While an interest rises in exciting times and fades in challenging ones.
Are you willing to sacrifice for an extended period of time to achieve this goal? There are costs involved in achieving a dream. A price must be paid; be it financial or a time burden. The costs must be evaluated numerically before the journey begins.
Why do you want this? Sounds like a simple question, but many times, most people are so compelled by their passion, that they fail to gain clarity in explaining the goal behind their vision. The problem with that is, it becomes difficult to get the necessary support needed, to bring the dream to life.
Who is your audience? Is there a market for your product or vision? If so, do you know the facts about your target audience and how you can serve their need(s)? This is where the dotting of i(s) and crossing of t(s) happen.
Being persistent is a valuable trait. It means you have a steadfast commitment to realizing a vision. You are willing to roll up your sleeves and do the unattractive, and even the mundane, to achieve the dream. Yet, before you commit to a journey without guarantees - be sure to count the costs.
How is it that you can still remember the lyrics to a song that was popular when you were a child? How is it that after the various seasons and moments you've experienced since that song was on the radio, that you can recall each verse and hook, as if it was currently on the air? What is it about a favorite song that suddenly changes our expression or brightens our mood?
It might appear to be magical. Some sort of mystery that you can't quite pinpoint. But behind every timeless hit song, were strategic writing sessions, long hours spent in the studio, and even longer hidden seasons of the artist and producers honing their craft, to one day create that song you can't seem to get out of your mind, many years later.
In order for your creative work to be memorable, you must decide in advance if you're willing to commit to the journey of personal development. You must decide today, when no one is ready to purchase your painting, script, or book proposal, that you will be intentional about honing your craft. That you will be willing to put in the long hours in the hidden season, to develop your skill, which will one day be appreciated by a captive audience. An audience who is willing to meet your price for what you have to offer.
The moment the world embraces a body of work, owes its emergence to the lengthy season behind closed doors, when the artist was busy honing their craft. That is why its so important to honor those days, that season of what seems like minor gains. Don't despise the days of small beginnings. This is the season you end up appreciating the most when success finally comes. This is the season that has equipped you to handle the blessings that come with your achievement.