04 Oct Reminder: Whenever you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else
via TED Ideas by Ryan Holiday
This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from people in the TED community; browse through all the posts here.
It is with some pride that I can think of some “big” things I have passed on doing.
Tickets to the Super Bowl.
A trip to a private island.
I’m not proud because I think I am better than those things. It was just that I had better things to do with that time, at that time. Sometimes it was with my family; sometimes it was other work opportunities; sometimes it was just because I was exhausted and I needed to rest.
Saying NO is a rich feeling that’s only tangentially related to money. Yet if I am being honest, it’s not one I indulge in enough.
Just because you’re offered something that might be good for your career, that would feel good to your ego, that most people would have said YES to, doesn’t mean you have to listen to your ego and accept the offer. You can say NO.
It’s easy to forget that, especially with peer pressure and FOMO, but it’s true. Saying NO is a rich feeling that’s only tangentially related to money. Yet if I am being honest, like most people, it’s not one I indulge in enough.
But in the last year, as the pandemic radically reoriented so many parts of everybody’s lives, I was reminded painfully of what economists call “opportunity costs”. I’ve always been productive and disciplined, so I was under the impression that even with all my traveling and various projects, I wasn’t suffering much for it…
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