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20 Things I Wish My Children Knew

20 Things I Wish My Children Knew

While thinking about what matters to me and what advice to give my children if it was the last thing I could tell them, I realized that there are 20 things I wish my children knew.

1. I wish they knew that though I constantly tell them to keep trying, there will be times when they will have to quit!

I hope they will learn the art of knowing when to hold on and when to quit and start something new.

2.I wish they knew that if you don’t step out of your comfort zone you will never realize how great you could be.

Sometimes my children will have to try something new and dare something that scares them in order to find their inner strength.

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3. I wish they knew that happiness is a choice and not something that you search for like your car keys.

First they have to find what makes them happy and then they can go ahead and pursue their goals.

4. I wish they knew that you can’t wait for life to happen.

Life only happens when you know what you want and when you’re working hard to make it happen.

5. I wish they knew that if they make their own decisions they will get the credit when things go right and have no one for the blame when things go wrong.

If my children make their own decisions, they won’t live with regret wondering what could have been.

6. I wish they knew that investing in things trumps short-term enjoyment.

Sometimes they will have to put their temporary desires aside in order to achieve their long-term goals.

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7. I wish they knew the importance of taking some time for yourself.

When you take care of yourself there will be more of you to share with others.

8. I wish they knew the question of intelligence should never be “how intelligent are you?” but “how are you intelligent?”

I hope they will remember to focus on their areas of brilliance and not to worry about the rest.

9. I wish they knew people who talk down to you are never worth looking up to.

Giving advice to children may work, but never criticism.

10. I wish they knew that dishonesty is thinking short-term while integrity has long term benefits.

In a long term it will pay out for them to achieve a reputation of trustworthy friends and colleages.

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11. I wish they knew the secret to making friends and forming long term relationships is knowing that everyone wants to be appreciated and understood.

If you give love and understanding, you will receive love and understanding.

12. I wish they knew that most of the things you fear in life usually never happen.

Sometimes we are irrational and fear things that are very unlikely. Fear should never hold us back from going after what we really want.

13. I wish they knew that failure is underestimated and under-appreciated.

My best advice to children is: Don’t be afraid of messing up while you find out what you’re good at. In the words of Miss Frizzle of the TV show “Magic Schoolbus”: “Make mistakes, take chances, get messy!”

14. I wish they knew that there is pain in the world because of choices.

Bad choices are the plague of humanity but the ability to choose is the cornerstone of free will. This freedom is what allows us to reach places the human mind has never been to before.

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15. I wish they knew how to live each day to the fullest, not caring if someone else thinks they’re crazy.

I hope in the end they have no regrets because they lived, they loved, they danced. They embraced every opportunity for change, every chance to make life as rich and full as it can be.

16. I wish they knew that even the good they do will be badly spoken of by someone.

I hope they never allow the opinion of someone who doesn’t matter to change their opinion of what matters.

17. I wish they knew what love can do.

Love doesn’t only feel good. It can change their whole world.

18. I wish they knew that God is that voice in your heart that tells you what’s right.

He’s the reassuring hunch that tells you in the end you’re going to be ok.

19. I wish they knew that the best investment I’ve ever made was in them.

I would never take back any sacrifice made for my children because I see that it has brought me rewards that can’t be compared to anything else.

20. I wish they knew that even when I yelled at them they were always loved unconditionally and the most precious thing in my life.

Because mothers love their kids unconditionally.

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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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