084: Say No, so You Can Say Yes – Friday Fundamentals

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Have you ever thought about the word extraordinary?  By definition “ordinary – with no special or distinctive features; normal.” Then what does extraordinary mean – extra normal? Doesn’t really make sense, does it?

But nothing about being extraordinary is normal. In fact, to become extraordinary, one must be not normal.

But enough on that tangent. Let’s get into today’s Friday Fundamental.

This may sound a bit like an oximoron, or even ironic. Say no, so you can say yes? What does that mean? Well, let’s break it down. Every time you say yes to something, you say no to something else.

For example, if you decide to go to happy hour after work with your friends, then you’re saying no to running that 5k you had planned for the same evening. If you say yes to that conference in Orlando this summer, you’re saying no to touring wine country with your old college friends that same weekend.

For every time you say no to something, you give yourself the opportunity to say yes to something, either more important, or less important. So what do you say yes to? It’s up to you, but those things that you say yes to will determine if you are on an ordinary path or an extraordinary path.

Remember, to be extraordinary, one must not be normal. So what exactly does that mean, to not be normal? It’s a bit abstract, but I like to think of it as the opposite of what most people do.

There are many facets of life which can be labeled normal, including:

  • Investing in a traditional retirement account
  • Only learning and growing one’s knowledge until they have a degree or certification
  • Leveraging debt to buy a new vehicle every three years
  • Not taking as good of care of one’s body as they should
  • Taking one vacation a year, and stretching dollars to make it work

These are all “normal” things. You have to break out of normal if you’re ever going to achieve the extraordinary. Ignore the pressure of society to “follow the pack”. Do what others won’t now, so that you can do what others can’t later.

So what’s your path to extraordinary? I encourage you to critique your decisions over the next week, and then reflect on what you said yes and no to.

Don’t settle for mediocrity. Decide how you are going to live your life. Say yes to the important things, and don’t think twice about saying no to the unimportant things.

Be extraordinary.


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