The importance of saying NO is evident in human history.
The big NO of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, who after 27 years of undeserved prison, refused to launch a war against the white minority in power and instead challenged the black majority by saying that there was not a solution without the white people who they believed to be their enemies.
The big NO of Mahatma Gandhi who proposed to stop buying the salt from the English companies and instead march to the ocean to get the salt themselves and started with that the movement which led to the independence of one of the most populated countries on Earth.
The humble but big NO of Rosa Parks who in 1955 was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger in a bus in Alabama, and started with that the civil rights movement against segregation in the United States.
The instances of the importance of big NO’s in human history could go on forever. Each of these NO’s made room for many incredible important YES that came afterwards.
But what about the big NO’s of the everyday little people that will never make it to the books of history?
They certainly change our personal history as well, and since our own individual life is the only one we really get to know and handle, these NO’s are extremely important for each of us.
As an example, let me share with you a little story that happened to me years ago with one of my clients, who came to me for a personal retreat, in which he wanted to take a different look at his life. In just a few words I think what he wanted was to simply know what was going wrong in his life to the point that –even though he looked healthy with successful career in civil engineering- he was not happy.
As a part of the process this man—let´s call him Edward just to have a name—was sharing with me the outline of his life. Everything seemed fine, he had a career he liked, was making good business, bought a beautiful property in Arizona and built a house to his liking. He loved his home. He also had a partner who he invited to live with him at his house a couple years ago. We will call her Mary. What was not ideal is that they did not share the same kind of likings. For instance, he liked camping, she liked the city. He liked physical activities such as long rides on his bicycles, but Mary did not. He liked to spend time with his friends every now and then, but even though he invited her to go with him, she not only did not go with him, but would press him not to go at all.Download Article 500 Club