The reluctance, and often inability, to say “No” is an insidious thief of success. Success takes vision and focus. Not saying “No” takes nibbles, often full bites, out of your time and energy. It keeps you from creating your best life and making the difference that you long to make in the world. This danger plagues everyone from the mother of school age children who is asked to send homemade cookies for the class party to the gifted CEO eager to take the company to the next level. It haunts the entrepreneur who struggles to focus his efforts. It dilutes the ability of every leader to pursue what really matters.
How many times have you had the following thought? “I need to clone myself. I will never to able to create a life that includes everything that matters to me – doing excellent work, having time to play, nurturing great relationships, eating well, and exercising – unless I somehow figure out how to add more hours to my day.”
Dr. Martin Luther King inspired. He was not the only man to suffer racial prejudice. He was not the only one who had ideas about how to stop discrimination. He was not the only gifted orator of his time. But he was the one who emerged as the powerful voice that inspired change.