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What No One Tells You About Getting Older

You Can't Do It All, And Saying No Will Make You Happier

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

When we are young, we seize every opportunity that comes our way. In many respects, I think the youth today face this in greater abundance than I did. We are all “so busy” all of the time. 

The older we get, the more opportunities there are. What no one tells us about getting older is that we cannot do it all. Or perhaps they told us, and we thought that it was possible to try? Seizing all of the opportunities that we are presented with is not sustainable. Believe me, I’ve tried, and you probably have too. 

I learned that lesson the hard way, and I still need reminders. The process has been enlightening, because as I have learned to say no, I have also become happier. 

I’ve crammed more life into my years than some people do in a lifetime. In learning that I cannot do it all, I found the value in the quality of my life. Spending time with friends and family, having unscheduled time, and enjoying the quiet stillness of the world around me add immeasurable happiness and peace to my days.

When cannot do our best work when we are always on the go. I lose my creativity, my patience is lacking, and I forget the reasons why I work so hard, and what my ultimate goal is. 

The key is to choose our opportunities wisely. While they all may be outstanding opportunities, only some of them are the right fit for you. There are three questions to ask when making decisions:

  1. What is your ultimate goal? 
  2. What matters most?
  3. Will this opportunity bring you closer to your ultimate goal?

Saying yes is easier. I’m a people pleaser, saying yes and helping others is gratifying. However, an amazing thing happens when you say no. The opportunity is there for someone else as they fill the void, and creative solutions are found. As we focus on our own goals others share their unique contributions with the world. 

Maybe we can’t do it all. But in the end, we can do what matters the most, and that is enough.

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