With every hit, your opponent tells you “no”. You want to take three or four seconds to recover. The problem is that within three or four seconds the other guy has thrown another 8 or 12 punches into your face and so the debt piles up like unpaid bills on the kitchen counter. You have a max of half a second to do something about it. You say, “yes” and counter with a jab-cross. He says “no” again. And you say “yes” three or four times back. Essentially, if you can say yes more times than he can say no, you win the fight.
I’ve realized that while the people who have said “yes” make me happy, it’s the people who’ve said “no” to me who have made me successful. You can become an athlete on the punching bag, but it’s your opponent who makes you a fighter. One day, I want to make a list of all the no-sayers and send them honest thank you notes. If a supervisor had not said no to a speaking opportunity, I would not have become a writer. If a new acquaintance had not said no to coffee four months ago I wouldn’t be on a national radio station this week. I could not have built a bigger “yes” without their “no”.
After three brutal rounds, I won that fight against the Big Ten college athlete. We thanked each other and exchanged info to meet again another day. We were both hurting but we both knew that if the other hadn’t stepped in the ring to say “no” neither of us would have become fighters for “yes”.
John is a coach member of the International Coach Federation with a lifelong interest in personal development coaching. He received his training, mentorship, and coaching experience through Mission Network programs in Atlanta GA, Sacramento CA, and Rome, Italy. He now resides in Lafayette IN where he teaches for Purdue University and is an inspirational coach for working professionals. John enjoys competitive boxing and dedicating time to train college boxers. You can learn more about him on his website www.personapersonalcoaching.com