Anything Not Everything
A common idea today is that “You can have it all.” Well, sort of. Let’s talk about how that really works.
Here’s a thought for you to consider. You can do almost anything you want to do, but you can’t do everything you want to do. That’s actually a basic principle that every leader needs to face.
You can do anything you want, but not everything you want. Effective leadership is always about making choices, there are always more things to do than there is time for. There are always more really good things to do than there is time for. That can be frustrating, but it can also be freeing.
We have to accept the fact that saying yes to one thing means that we are saying no to other things. There isn’t enough time to say yes to everything, and not everything is equally important. As a leader you need to come to grips with that, and be at peace with it, otherwise you just may go crazy. But once you come to grips with it, you learn that there is tremendous freedom in it.
When you realize you cannot say yes to everything, it becomes easier to say no to things. You understand that you have to do it, you know why you are saying no, which is so you can say yes to something else, and that makes a huge difference. By the way, when you are clear on why you are saying no, it actually makes it easier for other people to accept your no. They may not like it, but they will understand it, and ultimately they will respect you for it. You can do almost anything you want, just not everything.
Accept that and you will be able to give yourself fully to the most important things and you will be able to say no to other things without feeling guilty about it.