I have the pleasure of meeting with a group of guys every other week to discuss life, ask hard questions and ultimately hold me accountable. This is the time where we get to discuss our views of the world and glean different perspectives as we process whatever in life we are experiencing at that particular point. One of my close friends and mentors summed up a particular conversation on an oddly brisk Texas evening:”every yes is a no, every no is yes”. Simple, spot on and great for an early thirties male trying to carve his place in the business world. The gist of the conversation was that we were seeing all kinds of opportunities around us, but did not have the gumption or wherewithal to seize any particular opportunity. With that, we came to the conclusion that every single decision we make in life carries an antithesis. It’s the classical concept of opportunity cost, but with life.
Time can only be spent once and by us saying yes to a certain request, we are saying no to something else. This can be as small of a decision as whether to buy coffee at Starbucks (and not save for your child’s college and thus negate the iterative effect of compounding interest) or not, or the decision to spend dedicated time with your husband or wife regularly to simply cast dreams for your family. Saying “yes” means saying “no”. Until we view our life as cumulative iterations of yes and no answers, we will be stuck in the hamster wheel, visceral respondents reminiscent of the protozoan. Instead we must comprehend that every action, second and breath that we have is one that will either make this Earth better or worse. There is no in between.
Therefore, do not be lukewarm, know what direction you will head in life; because if you do not, someone else will decide for you.