Less Bullshit In… Less Bullshit In
How important is the word ‘No?’
Well, it’s really no more important than any other word if you don’t use it. But if you actually use it… thoughtfully, then it can become the most important word you use.
This is no disrespect to the word ‘Yes.’ I love that word too! Four years ago, I said yes to doing martial arts with my son, and that was a critical decision in my progression of my health. The year after that I said yes to Title Boxing Club. Awesome. Then it was yes to weight lifting. Then yes to Pilates.
I was working out eight to ten times a week. Loved it.
Only problem was that I was still drinking regularly and eating pretty much whatever I wanted. So, even though the workouts were a solid ‘yes’, there was another ‘yes’ that was negating much of the benefit I was supposed to be getting from it.
Things changed when I said no to alcohol last November. After a pretty crappy detox for thirty days, I came out on the other side starting to remember that life is pretty cool without hangovers or fogginess. Once that set in, I found something I hadn’t been able to find in years… the desire to cut foods out of my diet that I knew weren’t good for me, primarily sugar. Another ‘no’.
Check out this graph. It’s my weight over the last 6 years. There are two big drops. The first one, in 2016 is when I cut out grains for a while. Then I forgot how good that was for me and got stressed with work (soccer and the Health:Further 2018 Festival to be specific) and put almost all the weight back on.
Then you can see where I cut out drinking in late 2018…
Then I cut sugar out in January of this year…
Then I picked up intermittent fasting in February. No food for 18 hours and eating within 6 hours, Monday through Friday.
Then I realized I needed to really work on my content, so I announced a moratorium on meetings for 45 days from May to mid June. No random coffee meetings sucking away my focus and bandwidth.
And then last week in a very important meeting, when my autonomy was challenged, I quickly addressed it and made clear that I control me, period. It was an automatic response. I didn’t even think about it, it just came out.
Saying no to what I put in my body is transferring to saying no to what I allow in my life.
Entrepreneurship is about performance, just like athletics. You can work really hard at it, but your talents, mindset and fitness will have an impact on how you perform. We all know that athletes have to be disciplined in what they put in their bodies and how they spend their time, but for some reason we don’t carry that analogy over to life in general and entrepreneurship specifically.
Being a great entrepreneur is about responsiveness, making great decisions and execution, just like being a great athlete. The habit of accepting less bullshit in our lives is transferrable in a good way. If we eat and drink less crap, overtime it’s likely that we will accept less crap. No amount of hard work (this includes exercise) will strengthen that ability to reject negativity like building a capacity for not allowing negativity in your life in the first place.
In other words, always saying yes doesn’t really help you say no when you need to.
We need to balance our ‘yes’ and ‘no’ decisions, and understand that ‘no’ can create momentum just like ‘yes’ can.
It’s not always about more. Sometime less is exactly how we become capable of more.
Have a grateful week.