LESSON 9: Sometimes, it’s ok to say NO!

It’s very easy to like a YES-Person. Someone who always says Yes to everything we want, all the time. There are some really nice people like that. Like this good friend of mine back in the days; this guy could literally be there for all the people in Africa, anytime, any day, especially the ladies. And did we like him? yes. He was the typical ladies’ man for that singular quality and more. Just a call to his cellphone could make a difference in your day. He would do everything in his power to make sure you were alright. Until the complaints started coming in, everyone wasn’t getting a fair share of his goodness anymore. Obviously, there were those abusing it. Tongues began to wag, “when he is always trying to be there for everybody,” one thing, one thing. You know humans now. Poor brother. I’m sure he learnt his lesson eventually.

You just can’t be there for everybody all of the time. Neither can you please everyone, no matter how hard you try. Not even your own immediate family or close friends. Your name isn’t Santa Claus, nor is it Mother Theresa. Even those had their limitations. Help people whenever you can but know where to draw that healthy line. Beware of being manipulated into feeling guilty because of their disappointment. Some People can use you to achieve their own personal (often selfish) goals, and then leave you hanging. It’s not really you they want, it’s what they can get from you. Others want to transfer their personal responsibilities to you and then blame you for the slightest failure. Don’t fall for that trap. Whenever you sense lack of genuine motives behind people’s demands, just say NO. Be clear, kind but firm. 

That’s one aspect. The other is this, learn to say NO to trivial, not-too-important things, like food and other forms of pleasure, when they interfere with your proposed objectives. It’s the first step to cultivating the habit of self-discipline. Last year, I had a number of opportunities to practice that art. And it did me a whole lot of good. It wasn’t always easy however, since my friends didn’t understand some of my actions. But I took my stand anyway.

This year, you can also begin to say NO to anything/anyone that is likely to limit you. Ensure God is the only one you’re out to please at all cost!



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