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Just Say No

This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If you’re new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.

Principle 42: Just Say No

To be successful in achieving your goals and creating your desired lifestyle, you will have to get good at saying no to all of the people and distractions that would otherwise devour you. Successful people know how to say no without feeling guilty.

This simple piece of advice Jack Canfield gives above is often the biggest downfall of the average man. Time is our most precious commodity and it seems everyone wants to take it from us.

all you need, right in the palm of your handQuite often I am guilty of surrendering my time to others. As I sit down to write a post- my cell phone will go off, and instead of letting it go to voice mail, I will answer it and get trapped in a twenty minute conversation. Then just as I start writing- a message will pop up on IM. I will chat for a few minutes, and then check my email. Since I’m already online I’ll browse my feed reader to see if any of my favorite bloggers posted anything new… before I know I’ve killed a half an hour and haven’t written a word.

The whole idea of eliminating distraction is focused on highly in one of my favorite books The Four Hour Work Week. I am often amazed at how much its author, Tim Ferriss, has accomplished at such a young age. At first I thought that he had some super human strength, or he was amped up on BrainQuicken, but now I realize that he has trained himself to say no to distractions like email, news coverage, unwanted phone calls, and meetings. With the elimination of these time wasters… potential becomes unlimited.

If you plan on seeing massive success in life you will have to structure your work so that you are focusing your time, effort, energies, and resources only on projects, opportunities, and people that give you a huge reward for your efforts. You are going to have to create strong boundaries about what you will and won’t do.

If you really think that it would be impossible to give up checking your email or answering phone calls, maybe you should consider hiring a personal assistant. Ferriss outlines the entire process in The Four Hour Work Week and it is not nearly as expensive as you might think.

This would allow your personal assistant to take care of all the meaningless calls, email responses, and busy work, so that you can focus on activities that make use of your core genius.

But just as important as your ability to say no to yourself, you need to be able to say no to requests upon your time and recourses. For instance, I get loads of emails every day from guys asking me for specific advice to questions that they have about dating. I usually try to answer each of these emails as time permits, but sometimes I get requests to write out long word for word scripts or provide long examples from my own life. These sort of responses are just not possible so I have to gently say no.

There are lots of valuable techniques that you can learn that will make it easier to say no without feeling guilty. I recommend you read one of the several good books that address this issue in greater depth than I have space for here. The two best books Canfield recommends are When I say No, I Feel Guilty, and How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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