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5 Quotes From Bill Gates That Will Teach You Valuable Life Lessons

5 Quotes From Bill Gates That Will Teach You Valuable Life Lessons

Bill Gates has accomplished more wealth and success than anyone of our generation. But even more importantly he has worked tirelessly to improve lives and prevent deaths through his generous charitable contribuitons. I have left out a couple of his more well-known quotes and instead tried to focus on those lesser known quotes. I hope you will find that these resonate with some of your own valuable life lessons you know to be true. Here is a healthy dose of what has made Mr. Gates successful and things we should pay close attention to if we wish to succeed at our own dreams and desires.

1. Focus
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    “The most important work I got a chance to be involved in, no matter what I do, is the personal computer. You know, that’s what I grew up in my teens, my 20s, my 30s, you know, I even knew not to get married until later because I was so obsessed with it. That’s my life’s work.”

    We start life with many big dreams–things we want to accomplish, create, build and experience. But if you ask anyone past the age of 40 what happened to all the dreams they had, they will most likely answer: Life. This is true; life has a tendency to just happen. But it happens because we make choices. The life you create and design for yourself is going to accumulate from the choices you make over time. Sure, there are unexpected things that can derail dreams. But we can control where we put our focus, and if we choose to put one dream ahead of another. Those are all choices we get to make individually. Bill Gates knew that to meet his dreams and see his most important work achieved he would need to take a different route than most people. To do that, he put some other dreams on the back burner. Ask yourself: are the choices I am making today truly supporting the dreams I have for tomorrow?

    2. Feed your mind
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      “I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

      I especially love this quote because I believe books are filled with pure mystical magic. How do you know the life you want to design and the dreams you want to achieve, unless you are exposed to the vast colorful rainbow of opportunity that this wide world holds? You can read science fiction, poetry, crime, drama, self-help books, love stories, or whatever your heart desires–just read. The imagination that created an entirely new set of possibilities for your mind to explore is magic made for growth. You just don’t know what you will read that will spark a new love or desire in you. Influence comes from some of the most unforeseen obscure encounters and experiences. We can’t all have a life that affords us to travel the world, but we all have at our fingertips the world through words. Reading is the compass to your future.

      3. Discipline
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        “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

        In today’s world we are lulled into a desire for instant gratification, a “show me the results now” kind of mindset. If we don’t see results from our efforts within a very short timeframe, we are apt to bail. Our entertainment, technology, news, social interactions, relationships and education move at warp speed. We have lost all gumption to stick with the process, dig our heels in and just work without lifting our heads. This quote is point on. We are impatient in our expectations and give up far too easily. Mr. Gates is telling us to stick out the hard times in the beginning and, before you know it, your efforts will compound multiple times over with results. But, we can’t give up too soon just because we crave instant gratification in today’s fast click world.

        4. Be yourself
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          “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.”

          We waste so much time in envy and desire of what others have. Instead of letting their unique light be appreciated and honored, we pity ourselves and putter about feeling sorry that we don’t have legs to the sky, luxurious thick hair, or huge almond shaped eyes. We see others with prosperous jobs, witty humor, loads of friends, and the list goes on and on. And while we create this meaningless list of what we are not, we are slowing suffering a slow death of what we are. We were each especially designed to fulfill a particular balance at this point in time and place in the universe. We are destined to be here and be exactly what we bring to the world. Quit listening to the voice of fear and envy. Rejoice in other people’s gifts, and in your own without reserve.

          5. Give back
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            “There is a certain responsibility that accrued to me when I got to this unexpected position.”

            Once you have any inkling that your feet feel solid on the ground for even a brief period of time, you have the responsibility to look around you, reach out for someone struggling and throw them out your hand. Someone helped you along your journey. They gave you a pep talk, instilled confidence, gave you wings to soar or an opportunity to fail. Nothing you have achieved of value has been a solo performance. Any time you are able to help anyone else it is your duty to help. And the best part is that every single thing you give out in this world comes back to you ten-fold. Every smile, every kind hand held, every hug, every heartfelt thought for goodness comes back directly to you, multiplied in strength. What we give to others we give to ourselves. What we withhold from others we withhold from ourselves.

            I hope you enjoyed exploring these powerful quotes from Bill Gates, and have some new excitement in designing and generating your own powerful destiny. We all have a footprint to leave here. You get to decide and imprint your own beautiful design on this world.

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            Dawn Hafner

            Dawn is a Practical Life Coach who offers concrete tools to help people implement life changes.

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            Last Updated on January 24, 2021

            How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

            How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

            Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

            For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

            But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

            It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

            And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

            The Importance of Saying No

            When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

            In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

            Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

            Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

            Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

            “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

            When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

            How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

            It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

            From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

            We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

            And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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            At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

            The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

            How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

            Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

            But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

            3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

            1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

            Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

            If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

            2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

            When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

            Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

            3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

            When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

            6 Ways to Start Saying No

            Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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            1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

            One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

            Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

            2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

            Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

            Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

            3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

            Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

            Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

            You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

            4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

            Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

            Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

            5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

            When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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            How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

              Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

              Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

              6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

              If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

              Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

              Final Thoughts

              Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

              Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

              Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

              More Tips on How to Say No

              Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
              [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
              [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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