Friday, May 31

Yes and No

Not sure if you have participated in any Twitter chats yet, I highly recommend them.  You get to "meet" people you would never otherwise come across, and you get to hear thoughts and opinions you might never have heard expressed.

Last Sunday, I stumbled upon #SpiritChat.  Now I am not a religious guy nor do I consider myself extremely "spiritual," but I do have values that I hold near and dear.  I was curious enough to click and was immediately fascinated by the chatter.

Admittedly I didn't stay on for long, but long enough to get a little nugget.

The group question was about saying "no" to people and how hard that can be.  We constantly aspire towards "we" which means a continual state of "doing" ... for family, friends, co-workers, bosses, clients ... doing, doing, doing.

It is VERY hard to say no, and there often seems like there are no limits to it.  "No" rarely comes up in the conversation.  I in fact find myself telling people that it's not ok to say "no."  "Maybe" is ok, "let's talk about it" is perfectly acceptable, but an outright "no" is generally not cool.  But it does get hard to keep up, that's for sure.

So I get it, and the group on Sunday got it too:  it takes a lot of courage to say "no."

What I find even harder, though, is to say "yes."  Saying "yes" to yourself, that is.  Taking care of yourself, making sure YOU are ok.  Whether that's keeping that doctor's appointment, or slowing down lunch to make sure the food is healthy, cramming in a 20 minute workout to keep the blood pressure in check, stopping to read a magazine .... things we should be doing for our mental and physical health.

For some, it's a day at the spa.  Whatever it is, it's about putting yourself as a priority once and awhile.

That is equally, if not more, courageous because it's counter culture and appears to be selfish.  Our culture prompts us to give back, pay it forward, and to put others first.  And we do.  But every once and awhile we need to say "yes" to ourselves.  Mostly so that we can be ready, mentally and physically, all the rest of the time to do for others.

I found the chat fascinating, and not what I expected from a #SpiritChat on a Sunday am.  Ahh, once again the power of social media.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

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