This week I was asked to do a radio interview. Someone else asked me to write a guest post for their blog. A while back I was asked to be a part of an expert panel. While on all three occasions I was flattered to be asked, I declined all of them.
Why did I decline? Because after thinking about each of these requests I felt ambivalent about accepting. I’ve heard the advice that you should accept all of the invitations that you receive to participate in interviews, panels, and so on, in order to get your name out there and drive more traffic to your blog. However, I’m currently working on several projects that are important to me.
Any commitment that I take on right now takes time away from my projects. In addition, I feel passionate about my projects: I enjoy working on them and I think that completing these projects will have a large, positive impact on my life. So, why would I take time away from those projects in order to give an interview, or do something else, that I’m on the fence about? That wouldn’t make much sense.
Today, my position was re-affirmed when I came across an article written by Derek Sivers titled: “No more yes. It’s either ‘HELL YEAH!’ or no.”
In the article, Derek explains that when he’s deciding whether or not to commit to something, if he doesn’t feel, “Wow, that would be amazing! Hell, yeah!”, then he says “no”. He adds that when you say “no” to things that don’t get your juices flowing, you’re making room for those things that make you want to jump up and down with excitement.
Do you want your time and energy to be taken up by things that you feel ambivalent about? Or do you want to have the time and energy to do the things that are meaningful to you and that make you feel overjoyed to be alive?
This approach applies to everything in life. For example, yesterday I overheard an attractive man–who appeared to be in his early thirties–who was sitting at the table next to mine saying that there weren’t any good, eligible women in Panama, and that he was going to have to lower his standards. I felt like turning around in my chair and telling him, “Don’t lower your standards, just keep looking”.
Think of the difference between the following two scenarios:
- “Well, yeah, she looks like an OK person. I guess I could date her.”
- “Hell, yeah! That’s exactly the kind of woman I want to be with.”
The second scenario is obviously a dramatic improvement on the first.
As a second illustration, in the bestselling book, “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur”, Mike Michalowicz advises entrepreneurs to be careful with what they say “yes” to. Often, entrepreneurs will be reluctant to pass up an opportunity and will say “yes” to requests that are not congruent with what the business is about or with what they’re about. Saying “no” to things that are not a good fit forces entrepreneurs to look aggressively for things that are a good fit.
Again, it’s the difference between the following two scenarios:
- “Yes, that’s something that I could work on.”
- “Hell, yeah! That’s exactly the type of project that I wanted to work on when I started this business.”
From now on, make a commitment to live a “Hell, yeah!” life:
- Date someone who makes you think, “Hell, yeah!”
- Work on projects that make you say, “Hell, yeah!”
- Go on vacations that make you go, “Hell, yeah!”
- Agree to requests from others that make you think, “Hell, yeah!”
Start living a “Hell, yeah!” life, and watch your life go from good to great.
1. How to Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide for Creating and Achieving Your Life List
2. Make It Happen! A Workbook for Overcoming Procrastination and Getting the Right Things Done
3. How to Be More Creative – A Handbook for Alchemists