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Saying NO is a Superpower

I have a friend who is good at heart. He means well. He is always ready to help. He’s a hard worker. He has one fatal flaw. He is always buying cheap stuff – tools, equipment, vehicles, etc.

It’s a common trap. When we buy something cheap we are saving money. Right?

In the moment, that plastic mallet is cheaper than the wooden mallet with the metal hook. But when you are out in the middle of the woods, trying to stake your tent and the cheap plastic mallet breaks, it becomes the most expensive mallet in the world.

Because when you can’t stake your tent, and a storm blows it into the trees puncturing the roof, you are not only out a mallet, but also a tent and everything else that got damaged when that storm blew in.

We are conditioned to want everything fast and cheap.

Consider the phenomenon of “fast fashion”, mass produced clothing sold at a low cost. One in three young women considers garments worn once or twice to be old. And the average American throws away around 81 pounds of clothing yearly. (Read more about fast fashion at

We have become addicted to instant gratification.

Constant, instant gratification, such as social media likes or online shopping, rewires our brain to expect fast, short-term pleasure. This can lead to stress, anxiety, unrealistic expectations, and destructive habits.

We fail to plan for the future.

According to the 2019 GOBankingRates retirement survey, 64% of Americans expect to retire with less than $10,000 in their retirement savings accounts. What does this mean for us?

In today’s climate, our ability to say NO is a superpower.

Saying NO today, with the intention of working toward something better tomorrow, is one way of being thoughtfully selfish.

If we invest our resources (time, money, and energy) with careful thought and planning, we can create an extraordinary life filled with purpose, health, and prosperity.

Imagine if we:

  • Said NO to every volunteer request and invested our time in the one charity we feel passionate about.

  • Said NO to another $10.00 t-shirt and instead had money at the end of the year to take a vacation.

  • Said NO to doom scrolling social media and went for a hike with our family or friends.

Once we start saying NO to frivolous things, we begin to take control of our resources.

When we take control of our resources, we harness the power to be, do, and have everything we desire.

How can you start flexing this superpower?

What can you say NO to today with an eye on tomorrow?


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