It’s the hardest thing in the world, I think. Saying no. The hardest of all: saying no to what we’d said yes to before, when it made sense, when we thought it was a good idea.
Saying no. Getting rid of things. Reducing noise. Why?
To say yes to something else. To move from feeling scattered to a sense of harmony. To better hear the real melody.
But it’s so difficult, isn’t it? Again and again I find myself contorting myself in so many ways to avoid having to choose. To avoid having to say no, especially to possibilities, maybes, “one days”.
Many people have trouble saying no. For fear of being rejected, excluded. They end up filling their days with others’ emergencies and losing sight of what they really want.
For me it’s possibilities that are hardest to say no to. Because I’m afraid of missing out. Which periodically brings me to the point of suffocating under a mass of information, new projects, germinating ideas. And becoming terribly inefficient.
Then arrives the moment when things must be cut away. The time to simplify. Take a deep breath, take courage, and let go of things. Simplify.
It takes the abs of a samurai to slash away all the temptations that assail us these days. To cope with the hydra whose heads are Facebook, Google, Youtube — among many others.
Cut things away to see clearly.
Cut things away to breath easy.
Cut things away to make space.
Remove things from view, at least, if not getting rid of them altogether.
Today I’m going to say no as often as possible.
To say yes to what? Yes to the head space necessary for creation. Yes to writing what I want to write. Yes to rich conversations with other people who want to create instead of reacting to whatever rubbish is going on in their life at the moment.
One simple example: a quick tour of unroll.me, and I unsubscribed from 175 mailing lists that had been swelling up my inbox.
And you, Wonder? What can you eliminate in order to better create what’s truly important to you? What do you have the courage to say no to, so that you can say yes to something better?
(In the spirit of this letter, I’m removing comments from the site. To get in touch: email!)