Saying Yes, and Saying No

Lisbeth Inspiration

“What do you need to say ‘no’ to? And what ‘yes’ is burning inside?”

This was the writing prompt at a local authors group I attended.

I want you to think about those words for a moment. Say those questions aloud to yourself.

  • What do you need to say NO to?
  • And what YES is burning inside?

Just take a moment from the crazed pace of this world and think about yourself, only yourself.

Okay. Now you get to read my answer (below the break).

And then promise me you’ll go out and do something with this marvelous life you have been given —because push-ups and Paleo and kids and a job aren’t enough. Chase down the dream in your soul.


whiteboard in my kitchen july 2014

“What do you need to say ‘no’ to? And what ‘yes’ is burning inside?”

Yes is always the easier answer. There is so much to say “yes” to in life, in love, in this world. It’s simple—some might say indulgent or even criminal—to get lost in the wilderness of yes. The world runs on yes. Social media runs on yes, and like.

There’s always another team you can join, another committee you can serve on, another competition you can enter. Another, another, another. And so grows the list of distractions in life.

It’s so easy to jump on this bandwagon: Yes. Like. Yes. Like. Like. Like. Yes.

But defining the most important of the yesses is the difficult task in front me — and in front of so many others. The clarity of the one or two yesses is what I need to grasp: the one or two yesses that could really make a difference in this dirty world, how I must find my way, and how I can best help anyone in my life.

The yes is this right here: writing what matters, what helps, what causes people to turn towards the light and not the sexy, easy, appealing, cozy dark … or even the mediocre. Mediocre is the easy yes, but not the satisfying yes.

The best yes is so hard-earned, like the last mile in your marathon, the last rep in a difficult set, the last thing your sister said to you the night before she died. That’s a real yes.

No, settling for less is not what I need or want, or what this world needs or want.

Let someone else take the mediocre. I will leave it on the serving dish.

And that leads me to my “no.”

No to distractions, to false gold, to bright and shiny objects that lead my eye, but not my heart, not my soul. There are many, oh so many bright and shiny objects. We would grow old if I were to list them all. So, instead, I will simply see with my true eye, and find my way home.


“What if all you needed to do was to live your life is such a way that you inspired others to become enthusiastic about their own lives and share their gifts with those around them? If you are willing to reach your full potential, if you’re willing to go after your dreams and create them, what are you teaching those around you? You are teaching them, of course, that they, too. have the power to make their dreams come true.” — Debbie Ford, “The Best Year of Your Life”


Lisbeth Inspiration

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