The Power of Yes and The Necessity of No

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One of the most important skills to develop as we age is the ability to say, “Yes!” One of the most important skills to develop as we age is the ability to say, “No!”

That’s the yes/no paradox. Learning to say yes invites people, possibility, and opportunity into our lives. Learning to say no ensures that we’re focusing on the people, possibilities, and opportunities that align with our values.

Saying yes helps build and maintain relationships, leads to lifelong learning, and overall well-being. It’s the surest way to discover our passions and purpose. But saying yes too often or to the wrong things quickly results in becoming over-committed, over-extended and overwhelmed. Saying no enables us, and not others, to manage our time and energy.

Saying yes keeps us socially engaged while saying no will help ensure that those we engage with bring value to our lives. In other words, it’s important that we pick our friends wisely. Entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time. Passion, enthusiasm, and optimism are the contagious cornerstones of health and well-being, making it important that we say yes to those who share our enthusiasm for life and learn to say no to those who are pessimistic, inactive, and unhealthy.

Saying yes is a byproduct of curiosity, which may be the single most important trait that’s shared by successful people. Colleagues of Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson refer to him as “Dr. Yes.” Branson believes in the power of yes because, “Opportunity favors the bold — a lesson that I learned early on and have used to guide the Virgin story.”

Saying yes means risking failure and embarrassment, but to be afraid to fail is to be afraid to live. A key to embracing the power of yes is developing a beginner’s mindset which is open to new ideas and understands that failure is nothing more than feedback. We learn and grow by trying, failing, and persisting. Those who eventually become good at something are simply those who were OK with being bad at it for a while. If we can’t deal with failure, we’ll never know success.

Yes or no is a never-ending choice that we all make throughout our lives. Understanding the potential impact of that choice is an important life skill. Steve Jobs once said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” Our time here is limited. Yes and no are the gatekeepers that guard our time, energy, and focus.

It’s important to not just say yes to new experiences but also to accepting help and support from others; especially when it comes to life’s many transitions later in life. There are many benefits to adapting your home lifestyle in your later years, but it can be overwhelming to undertake on your own.

Whether it is decluttering from years of accumulated odds and ends, deciding to downsize after your children have grown, or even relocating to a new community or entirely new state as you grow older, you don’t have to do it alone.

Say yes to accepting help from the experts at Caring Transitions. Our team will create an individualized plan that meets your specific needs, to help you make a smooth, stress-free transition into your next living situation. There are more than 300 locations nationwide, specializing in senior relocation, estate sales, downsizing and so much more. No matter what your next decision is that has you navigating the yes/no paradox, consider this: instead of imagining the worst that might happen, imagine the best. Instead of asking, why? Ask yourself why not

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