31 December, 2015

A Happy Noo Year!

With the New Year approaching, this is the time of the year with everyone talking about New Year resolutions. We are talking about exercising regularly, eating healthy, reading frequently, traveling to new places, finishing that one creative project we started and so on. Well, here is something I'd like to share with you all on this year's resolutions.

While everyone is busy making the to-do-list and promising themselves with the change they desperately want to see, I would like to take on a different view on this subject. Focusing our energies and goals on what NOT to do this coming year can really help in our well-being and definitely have a positive and fulfilling effect on our efficiency. As bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld has said, “Politely saying no can free up astonishing amounts of time.” Well, as always, it is easier said than done.

I call myself a dreamer, I like imagining my future, making a list of all the things I like to see myself doing and then taking a step forward to complete this bright picture I have painted for myself. And one of the biggest hurdles I face in achieving these goals is the discomfort/ the hesitance/ the incapacity to say "NO". Of course, in no way, I want to blame my failures on one particular thing. But, I do believe that the art of saying no plays a great role in accomplishing anything.

One can be hard-working, have clearly established goals, priorities set right, but without understanding the importance of saying "NO", the person will always end up having a busy life instead of a disciplined life. So, this New Year's, let's focus on making a "Stop Doing" list in contrast to a "To Do" list. 

It is extremely difficult to say no and be happy about it. I am going to walk you through some everyday happenings and how saying no to a friend can be an extremely difficult and even uncomfortable. Someone is definitely going to be hurt. I am always concerned about what will the other person feel if I say no to something. Here's what can help us in this coming year:

1) Do not accumulate thoughts, do not wait up;

One of the great things I force myself to do is not build resentment. When you do not like really asked about the same things repeatedly by a friend, spouse; do not let these feelings build up in your mind. Try to clear them up when you're calm and not fed up. This can save you from bottling up all those feelings that are eventually going to explode.

2) Do not feel guilty about saying no;

You just cannot say yes all the time. And we all agree that some requests are just too frequent, immoderate and sometimes plain inappropriate. Well, your friend might think it is reasonable to ask for some favor, assume things about you, or make downright decisions for you, but as a matter of fact, you may feel otherwise. True friends have to be open to a reasonable no and sensitive to each other's feelings.

3) If they can't accept no as an answer, it is THEIR problem and NOT yours;

Some people can be just too demanding and will take you for granted. This will mostly happen if someone is used to hearing yes from you all the time, this person can have a very hard time accepting your no. You should be really firm about your decision in this situation.

4) If you are unable to say no, find out why;

I feel this is really important, as some people including myself, just do not know how to say No. You might be thinking about the other person's feelings, doubting your own priorities, and sometimes misjudging the situation. It is really important to ask yourself "If it is all worth it?" and stick to the answer.

5) Hold your ground;

This is by far the most difficult task; you might be manipulated, blackmailed emotionally, flattered, coaxed into saying a yes.  Always, look at the long term and short term effects of your decision. And, never give explanations, most of the times it won't work in your favor. Do try to convey your "no" politely with conviction, but do accompany it with a list of excuses/ justifications.

"Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” - Richie Norton
And on this note, I wish you all a very Happy New Year. 

May this new year bring out the best in you, and give you the nerve to say "NO".