Yes's and Nos

Saying yes or no halfheartedly can be easy. Especially when you don't care all that much. 
It's easily to shrug your way into a yes (or a "sure"), with the results being mediocrity. Or you can be badgered or guilted into saying yes by someone who cares more than you, but you likely won't enjoy whatever it is you're committing to. It's easy to casually say no because you're apathetic. This kind of yes (or no) is boring. It's lame. It is the definition of status quo.

I'm more interested in a BIG YES with lots of little nos. 

When I have a BIG YES, a motivating purpose and passion, a vision, a commitment; I will have to say no at some point. No to the things that are not THE THING. No to the activities and commitments that add clutter, not color to the dreams of my heart or to the tribe of my choosing. A BIG YES represents passion, commitment, investment, initiative, leadership and excitement. It means that I will have to say no to protect those things.

But it's also important that the yes is bigger than the nos. If I'm more interested in the things I am boycotting, avoiding, etc., then I don't have a beautiful vision for my life, I have an anti-vision. For example, it's the reason why "atheist" or "nonviolence" are actually really terrible words—not because either philosophy is terrible, but because the title itself does a disservice to the people who identify with those labels. The word is a not-something. The key word is a no, not yes. They have to creatively look for ways to articulate what their BIG YES is, because they have a BIG NO in their name. I hear tribes, groups and organizations that are so focused on their "no-nos" that they have quieted their BIG YES.

So what are you saying YES to with all your heart? What are you committing to? What are you consumed or enveloped by? That's your BIG YES. Say YES, and then be ready to say no.
Benjamin FaderComment