Most of the time we feel like we have a lot of things to deal with, the itinerary is always full, and after a busy schedule, we need to go on to the next. We don’t even have time to gasp. We are like diving in the deep water, trying to get up and breathe fresh air.

But the truth is, we found that we’ve been overwhelmed by the pressure of water. Even if we come out of the water, our bodies have already become exhausted because of the loss of physical strength in the fight against the pressure, and all that remains is our tired bodies, as well as our chaotic heads.

This situation is like you promised several friends to go swimming on the same day. When you dive for the first time, it is fun and easy, but if you do the same thing with ten friends on the same day, you’ll find yourself unable to handle the pressure in the end.

In everyday life, our work and journeys are like the water that gives us pressure. These ‘waters’ don’t affect us much when they come in a small amount, and we even enjoy life like this. But if these ‘waters’ put ‘pressure’ on us, we will feel the effects of being pressured.

A little stress doesn’t have any adverse effect on us — but stress can be superimposed. As your journey gets fuller and more, the pressure of these ‘waters’ can make you feel suffocated. And because of that, you’ll feel overwhelming all the time.

Practice ‘yes and no’, instead of ‘yes or no’

Most of the time, we’re used to saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ — it’s an act of our subconscious, and when we get back to it, we realize that we’ve said yes. In our education, we often identify ‘no’ as a negative word, and ‘yes’ brings us a positive response.

Such an idea has been engraved in our minds; this makes us subconsciously agree to the request of others. We dare not refuse others even though it may be polite because we feel embarrassed if we act in this way. But saying ‘yes‘ has become part of our habit.

Make out your mind by saying ‘no’

When you decide, think about whether you really need to say yes. We can say ‘yes’ to a bunch of things, but when we say ‘yes’ to everything, it means that we are getting further and further away from what we need to focus on.

When there are too many things to do, we can’t really focus on one thing seriously because our attention is scattered. Distraction can easily lead us to lose our goals, so there is a phenomenon where we behave busy every day, but the reality is we don’t know what we’re busing with. Even sometimes, we forget about the purpose of being busy — we have done a lot of things but can’t see those things bring any impact to our lives.

There is always a misconception that we can only make our choice with two answers, whether it is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In this way, people will give a positive answer because of the reason for responsibilities.

I like this sentence that is written by James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, in his article.

“No, is a decision. Yes, is a responsibility.”

You say ‘yes’ and accept the tasks because it is your responsibility. However, when you decide to say ‘no’, it means that you have focused. You make out your mind and know clearly what your goals are, so you decide to say ‘no’ to all of those distractions that stop you to achieve your goals.

Making a decision should not always be a yes, sometimes it can be a no

It is a good sign if you can practice saying no in your daily life. It means you are moving forward toward the aim you set. Over time, you need to change your strategy to improve your decision-making by upgrading your ‘nos’.

At the time over, you need to learn the timing and situation for you to react and give the right to respond. It is hard to make ‘no’ as a practice, but you will see the results once you have to take action to make your first decision.

If you are suffering hard figuring out when should you say ‘no’, the well-known “Hell Yeah or No” method from Derek Sivers could be your best guideline. If someone asks you to do something and your first reaction is “Hell Yeah!”, then do it. If it doesn’t excite you, then say no.

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.” Richie Norton.

When you learn to say ‘no’, you can really focus on doing the same thing. People would think that when you say ‘no’, it means you’ve turned down an opportunity and reduce your chances of success. But in fact, this is not really what it seems.

You are thinking about what you need when you make out your mind to say ‘no’. The author of the Atomic Habits, James Clear, also mentions in his article that the ultimate way to be productive is to say ‘no’.


People should consider the power of ‘no’ instead of categorizing it as a negative term. You can’t make the right decision if your option is only a ‘yes’. Cooperate both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is a good practice in helping you to reconsider everything before moving on to your next steps and remove all the ‘shiny objects’ that will obstruct your journey.

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