Provision #118: Just Say Yes

LifeTrek Provision

Last week we talked about the importance of just saying no. It wasn’t an anti-drug LifeTrek Provision, although we support the importance of saying no to tobacco, alcohol, and other addictive, mind-altering drugs. There’s no other way to be healthy and free.

Our focus last week was on saying no to those people and pressures that distract us from our true purpose, that violate our true identity, that seek to do us harm, that seem urgent but are really not important, that intrude upon our space and time, and that undermine our sense of well-being. When those people are close to us or have authority over us and when those pressures are loud or in our face it is challenging to just say no. But there will be no peace, and life will be out of whack, until we learn this important discipline.

This week we talk about the importance of just saying yes. It’s really an extension of our discussion last week regarding standards and boundaries. One cannot say no, effectively and judiciously, to people and pressures until one has said yes to standards and boundaries. Ironically, it is saying yes to standards and boundaries that even makes true spontaneity possible. When do you throw out your plans and do something unanticipated? When the deviation aligns with your standards and boundaries more than the plan.

All this assumes a tremendous amount of self-knowledge and self-awareness. We like the counsel of the prophet Habakkuk. He recognized the importance of discerning a vision, writing it down, and making it plain (Habakkuk 2:2f).

When was the last time that you wrote down the vision for your life? If someone asked you to identify five standards and five boundaries • five things you hold yourself to and five things you hold others to • could you do it? Could you rank each list in importance, from one to five?

If it takes time, Habakkuk urges us to wait. It’s that important. “If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.” There’s really no other way to live. Flying by the seat of your pants, shooting from the hip, winging it with a song and a prayer, putting out the latest brush fire, may enable you to get by. If you’re sharp and quick, it may even enable you to achieve a measure of success. But you will not achieve the highest levels of success and you will not enjoy the fullest levels of happiness. That takes planning on the basis of a firm personal foundation.

People pour that foundation when they make plain their standards and boundaries. When Habakkuk urges us to write the vision down, he’s not speaking euphemistically. He’s speaking literally. Until we write down our standards and boundaries, ranking them as to their relative importance, we have not laid the foundation for a successful and happy life.

There are many areas to consider. People can develop standards and boundaries in relation to the environment, physical fitness, spiritual disciplines, personal hygiene, professional competence, family relations, promise keeping, truth telling, daily habits, time management, spatial beauty, and diet. Just to name a few. There’s really no end to the list. If it’s important to you then it’s important. And if you’ve written it down, then you’re better able to be who you want to be relation to yourself and others.

Just say yes to your standards and boundaries, write them down, make them plain, and live!

To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form on the Web for a complimentary coaching session.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School
Immediate Past President, International Association of

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