Updated: Aug 23
Hope you're all having a great week so far! Today, we'll continue with the Unlocking Your Full Potential series. So far we've looked at Finding Your Strengths, Shifting Your Mindset, and Living in the Present. The next step to unlocking your potential and living life to the fullest is:
Be Intentional With Saying Yes.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who grew up hearing the phrase: "If you say yes to one thing, you're saying no to something else." It's a fairly simple concept; if you say yes to buying these expensive shoes now, you'll have to say no to the dress you want later. If you say yes to spending the weekend out with friends, you'll have to say no to a relaxing Sunday and instead have to cram all your studying and homework.
There are more examples than just the two I've listed, and I'm sure you're already thinking of some. As I've gotten older, I've realized how this concept can be found everywhere in life. And it's applicable to so many things: money, relationships, health, and even time. If you want to take back control of your life and access your full potential, it's important to be intentional with your 'Yes' in these areas.
(Because there are a few topics I want to cover, this week's post will be split in half, with part two coming out on Friday)
It's not anyone's favorite topic, and yet it's one people think about a lot. Finances impact a major portion of how we live our life. Our stress levels can be extremely different depending on if we feel financially stable or not. And (annoyingly) money is something we all need to live and function in the world.
Unless you set up a self-sustaining farm or something, but who has time for that?
I'm not a money expert by any means-- definitely did NOT inherit those genes from my father-- but even I have noticed how being intentional with my 'Yes' impacts my money. I've also noticed that with using money, there are two generic types of people: the Spenders and the Savers.
For my fellow Spenders, it's easy to buy things from big to little purchases without hesitation, because we justify the cost. Phrases like 'I need that Starbucks for energy' or 'this bag is the perfect accessory for my outfit' or 'my dog hates getting wet which is why he absolutely needs that rain jacket' quickly come to mind when we see something we can buy and want. And again, as someone who is a Spender, there's nothing wrong with buying things.
However, when you buy one thing, even a little thing, it takes away from being able to buy another thing, perhaps something you actually really need. When you're intentional with your spending, you can start to save up for the things you really, really want. Like that trip you've always wanted to go on, that new car, or whatever it is. By saying no to impulse purchases, Spenders can start to say yes to more important and more lasting items.
On the flip side, for the Savers, being intentional with money means allowing yourself to spend it. I don't know if y'all have ever seen the show Extreme Cheapskates, but after one episode you'll most likely decide that buying that nice soap or shampoo the other day wasn't actually a pointless expense.
By saying 'yes' to saving your money too much, you might be saying no to comfort, time, and possibly even health. It's okay to buy something that isn't a life-or-death purchase, but may just be something you enjoy. A 'little treat' that will brighten up your day after work or motivate you to finish a task can go a long way to improving your mood or providing you with a small, simple burst of happiness.
Being intentional with money and where you say 'Yes' falls under moderation. It's alright to buy things that make you happy or save up a lot, but don't fall victim to one extreme over the other. At the end of the day, it's your money. So use it in the way that will best support you, your experiences, and the life you want.
(Bonus: Poe in the mentioned Rain Coat)
Relationships require work and communication. Either to grow or maintain any sort of relationship, you have to be intentional in various ways.
First of all, be intentional with how you spend your time and energy. As great as it would be to have unlimited hangouts with your besties all the time à la Barbie style, that's just not how the world or time works. We only have so many hours in a day, and we have to choose how and who we spend it on.
If you're dating or married, you'll probably be intentional with spending time with your partner. Whether it's over the phone in a long-distance relationship or going to dinner together, you have to intentionally carve out time if you want the relationship to last. Likewise, with your best friend(s), you have to plan times to meet up or chat to keep the friendship going.
But it's not just about physical time. You have to say 'yes' to your relationships mentally.
If you're physically with a loved one, but spend the whole time together either thinking about or doing something else, like work, scrolling on your phone, or any other action that takes up most of your attention, then you haven't really said 'yes' to that relationship. Sure it may look good that you're there in the same room or on the same phone call, but it's noticeable if you've truly dedicated that time to them or not.
And sure, you might have to say no to things, like work or Netflix time or whatever, but if you truly want to have intentional relationships with certain people, you will say 'yes' to those relationships. If there are some people who you really would rather not say 'yes' to, then those relationships might be ones that aren't as deep or intentional as you first thought.
It's easy to think we need to curate dozens of 'friendships' in the modern age, but in actuality, most people prefer to develop and spend time with a few specific and intentionally-made friends. So find those people, the ones who will challenge you and grow you and love you deeply, and save your 'yes' for them.
Next week, we'll look at being intentional with your Health and Time.
As always, love y'all!
"Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable." --1 Corinthians 9:25