Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.
In the early to mid-80’s Nancy Reagan waged a campaign against drugs in teens with the slogan “Just say no.” Some ridiculed it as being an overly simplistic view of the world, but at the end of the day that was exactly the decision that each individual had to (and has to) make – to say no to the temptations or the peer pressure involved in that decision. Everyone knew what drugs could do to people and yet some still though that they could control the situation instead of the drugs controlling them. The smartest concluded that they would not let drugs even get the chance to gain control and they said no, you won’t.
In life there are many things that can happen or things that people can do or say that might get you down on them or on yourself. There are events that happen during a day that could ruin the day for you if you let them. There are people who take great delight in trying to bum you out and drag you down into a funk. Those people aren’t happy if you’re happy; they want you to be miserable like them. If you know that these things are going to happen and that there are people like that trying to ruin your day, you have to stand up to them and for yourself and say no, you won’t.
There are also people who might want you to join them in doing something that you know is wrong, maybe something that they present to you as a thrill, like shop-lifting at a store or breaking into an empty church. Maybe they are co-workers who want you to join them in some scheme to cheat the company somehow or steal from it. Maybe they’re just a group of “friends” who want you to join in on the bullying of another or in making fun of someone else. In all of those cases you have to stand up and say for yourself – no, you won’t
So, how do you turn saying no into a positive message and how do you take it further than that? First be proud that everything that I’ve used as examples were things that had no positive value. There was no upside to them, just downside; so you avoided the inevitable negative outcome by saying no. How you take it a step further is a bit harder, but there is a big upside to it – that’s when you add and you shouldn’t either just after you say no, you won’t.
There’s an anti- drunk driving ad slogan “friends don’t let friend drive drunk”; there probably should be one for this situation that says “friends don’t let friends do dumb stuff.” If you can save not only yourself, but others (especially your friends) from doing the wrong things why wouldn’t you try? You may get push back; you may even get ridicule; and, they may tell you to knock off the goody-two-shoes routine. Just tell them no, you won’t.