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The Power of NO

“I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself.”
–Albert Einstein

The word “no” is considered to be a negative word. But the context in which it’s used is important. I have found “no” to be a stepping stone on my journey, not an obstacle. I use that word to carry me over the obstacles I encounter.

In sales, you always expect to hear a certain number of “no’s” before you hear a “yes”. Every time that “no” is heard, you have the opportunity to refine your sales approach. During a sales call, a “no” is simply a chance to learn more about your customer.

All of the times I heard “No, you can’t” from a supervisor was a time I was really asking myself, “Why don’t I do that myself?” The budget cutters and tight-fisted lenders have helped me be more creative in funding my businesses. The naysayers have been allies on my journey. They are the provocateurs that have prodded me to take the next step. So I express My Gratitude to them for their timely assistance, for without their help, I wouldn’t be getting “smarter & wilder & kinder & trickier”.

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The Gratitude Practice, Part 2

Last week I told you about my Gratitude Practice. I make a list every day about the things I’m thankful for that happened during the day. I really enjoy it, and it’s changing the way I look at things, too. As so often happens, just as soon as I started to get serious about this practice, something came up to challenge it. That type of thing used to make me very angry. I’ve come to see it as a sign of progress, though. It shows me that my thinking and/or my behavior patterns are changing to the extent that this irritating thing has popped up into my face because I’m different. The irritating thing doesn’t fit me anymore; that’s why it’s so irritating.
In this case, a friend of mine wrote a piece on Gratitude that said while it’s all well and good to make lists of what you’re Thankful for, how good are you at receiving Gratitude? If you can’t accept Gratitude from another soul, how can you be truly Grateful for your own Blessings? Receiving is as much a part of giving as the act of giving itself. In fact, some people have said that the act of receiving is an act of giving to the original giver. It’s really easy to say “Thank you” to someone and really mean it. Can you say “You’re welcome” with as much sincerity? What’s harder for me is when someone expresses their Thanks with effusive praise for what I’ve done. In the past (and sometimes still), I’m uncomfortable with the Thanks. But it’s important to accept and acknowledge the Gratitude that others have for your work. For the other person, they’ve expressed a gift of praise to you. Everyone likes their gifts acknowledged. And it’s important for us as the receiver, too. Aside from the good feeling, for an entrepreneur, it’s positive feedback on your product or service.
And just how Thankful are you? Do you say “Thanks” and then go on to the next project? Or do you take the time to savor that response, to let yourself simmer in the good feelings? If you can’t take the time to do that immediately, do it sometime during the day. Doing that isn’t an ego thing. It’s an appreciation. As Rob Brezsny, author of Pronoia is the Antidote to Paranoia says, “Don’t just count your Blessings. Name them, speak them, savor them, revel in them, and give Thanks for them.”
That appreciation is important. You see, Gratitude, in its true form, is Unconditional Love’s Pleasure. Being Grateful allows you to take Pleasure in all the random ways that Life is Good. AND you can enjoy the Blessings that others receive. I’m not sticking my head in the ground, ignoring tragedy. I’m simply giving the Good in Life the attention it deserves. And it deserves a lot more than it gets!

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