Perhaps one of the most important abilities we can develop is saying ‘no’. But if you’re like me, you might have some trouble with that every now and then.
The crazy thing is that the answer has something to do with the way babies try to eat with a spoon for the first time:
You can imagine. Half of the food will end on their bib, half on their faces, and the rest in their tummies (if they’re lucky!)
It would be an understatement to say that their hands are all over the place, trying to land as close as possible to their pie hole.
The thing with babies is that learning these kind of motor skills have more to do with subtracting than adding.
We are born with a vast amount of pathways in our brains, and as babies, none of those pathways have ‘settled’ yet.
As we learn and develop, we don’t really construct new pathways, but instead get rid of the pathways that don’t help us on our current goals, wether mental or physical.
It’s like a tennis backhand, or counting cards at blackjack, or your bow hand on the cello. At first we’re all over the place.
Just like the baby with the spoon.
Putting enough practice into it (and under the supervision of someone who knows their stuff), we can get rid of the bad form and practices.
In other words, learning has more to do with marble sculpting than cathedral building.
(bad example… I love cathedrals!) but you get the idea.
Now, everything in our lives is a series of systems. So one model or template can serve for more than one purpose.
And our ‘learning by subtracting’ model can be applied to our lives in general, as well.
Have you answered the question: “What is it that you want?”
If you haven’t, you should. Once you know what you want, there’s a more pressing inquiry:
“Why do you keep doing things that stall, or even push you farther away that what you want?”
Even a baby could see that it doesn’t make sense.
But we are humans, right? it’s not like common sense is something we naturally have. We have to develop it like a muscle.
I mean, why do we keep doing things that move us farther from what we truly want?
Yes, sometimes we have to do sacrifices. Like in chess – we sacrifice a knight to gain an advantage.
But at all times, the goal must remain clear.
Do you think saying ‘no’ to bad things is hard? try saying ‘no’ to good things… good things that might distract you from what you want.
Because indulging in bad things might halt your progress temporarily. But accepting ‘good’ opportunities just for the sake of it… will veer you off course, and you might lose your bearings, and sail in a direction that could be detrimental.
That’s the importance of being able to say ‘no’, even if it’s something that looks good.
Even if it made sense to a former version of you.
You might feel guilty and even ungrateful for rejecting one of life’s opportunities. But in the end, life and this divine energy that unites us all, favors the bold.
And making a decision about what you want and sticking to it, is an act of boldness.
Could you change your mind about what you want? absolutely.
But it must NOT be because you need to ‘seize the opportunity’, like it was a discount offer.
It must be because you chose to.
As babies get rid of every hand movement that don’t drive the spoon to their mouths, you get rid of everything that does not drive you to what you chose.
So, go ahead and sculpt your life. It doesn’t matter if you use marble or a clump of baby food 😉
Much Love and Bliss,