Life seems to be in a constant state of chaos. Much like a washing machine, we often feel like we can’t catch our breath or stop the spinning.
And with this chaos, whether or not we want to admit it, we often feel overwhelmed and hopeless. But there is something deep inside each of us that wants out. We desire freedom. We desire order. We desire a life we love and that makes an impact in our world.
But is it even possible to press stop, reset, or start over.
I recently read an incredible book by my friend, Jeff Shinabarger, and he has challenged me that stopping the chaos in my life is about making one decision at a time and by simply choosing to say YES or NO.
Here are my three takeaways from his new book, YES or NO:
1. Invite Others to the Table.
Community is our most valuable asset. If you are one who prefers to make decisions on your own, then you might already be pushing back on this. But Jeff points out that “Three different types of people have the ability to speak into our lives: No People, Yes People, and Advisors.” The No people look negatively at every situation. No matter what, they will find something to criticize. Yes people value agreeability. They care more about optimism than hard realities. Advisors are those who believe in you and want you to win. They speak honestly. Surround yourself with these people and allow their opinions to be a part of your decision making process.
2. Name Your Fears.
“Fear is a constant companion and our toughest competition.” Our fears never leave us, they have an opinion on everything we do. And it seems that to speak of them is to acknowledge that they exist. So instead of fighting these fears, we hide in the corner with them. As Jeff says,
“When fears overtake the problems we are called to solve, we miss out on a portion of our unique design. Fears will be prevalent, so we need persistence in beating them. Fears tend to creep in and dominate our potential, but decision makers choose to understand their fears and allow hopeful possibilities to overcome the voice of doubt.”
Name your fears. Write them down. Talk about them with the people you trust. And decide that you will say NO to their power in your life.
3. Make Time for Solitude.
This seems foreign in a world where we are constantly communicating. We have learned to exist in a time where white noise is our silence. Jeff reminded me in his book that “The practice of stopping has been lost to the efficiency of modern life. We don’t have time to stop. We don’t have time to pray. At one time my normal workday included a lunch break; now I work through lunch. I believe in order to think holistically we must reteach ourselves to stop.”
Will you commit to take some time and stop? Just you, all alone. No phone. No people. Just you and your thoughts and the wisdom you have gathered from others.
At this point, you have to make a decision. You will never fully know what the future holds, but you must take the wisdom you have received from God and others, your own thoughts and goals, and make a decision. YES or NO.
Do you struggle with saying yes or no? What stops or slows you down?