Don’t just say no!

I was reminded of something very important recently. I wanted to share that reminder with you.

A friend invited me to go with a bunch of guys to a football game. I had to say “No” because I had to be out of town. I wasn’t happy about it; I hadn’t seen the friend in quite a while, but it was far too late to change my plans.

So I thought about it for a second … and then I texted back, “How about lunch”? We set a time and a place and included another buddy who also had to decline the football game. And I have to tell you: it was a great lunch. We laughed and cried and talked about all kinds of stuff. It was a blast.

It was a lesson I had to re-learn, and something we could all learn from. “No” should never be the end of the conversation; it should be the beginning. All too often, we often let our busy life take us away from real life. It’s easy to let the routine things manage our life, and even easier for us to reach for the easy answer…even if it’s not the best.

So when you have to decline something … schedule something else, whether it’s a lunch, a meeting, or a favor for a friend. You have to schedule some of the good things in life. And sometimes that takes a little creative thought.

So with your work, with your family, with your life: Don’t just say no! Remember what Meryl Streep said: “We are the choices we make.”