More food, more money, more gossip – nowadays it seems like everyone wants more of everything. For most of human history, that desire was fueled by a real scarcity of resources. Today most resources aren’t scarce, yet we still suffer from our historical scarcity complex.
Saying no to scarcity means shifting your attention away from what’s missing and towards the abundance around you.
One way to focus on abundance is to count the blessings in your life, or even something as mundane as the cars in a traffic jam. The important thing is simply to perceive and recognize the palpable lack of scarcity in our lives.
But why should you focus on abundance over scarcity? By focusing on abundance, you also enrich your life. This goes beyond the optimism of seeing the glass as half-full; rather, you realize that there is plenty of water, that you won’t die of thirst and that you should be thankful for the water.
You should also say no to noise, i.e., everything that impedes you from being at peace with yourself and the universe. The idea is to replace noise with silence.
Try to be aware of the noise in and around you, like negative thoughts that fill you with fear or regret, or troubling news reports. News of a plane crash, for instance, can make you anxious about your flight the next day. To be more at ease, just switch the TV off and don’t watch that two-hour documentary about the dangers of flying.
In addition to allowing for a more peaceful state of mind, silence also allows you to listen with an open heart. One way to practice this is to try giving your full attention to everyone around you for 24 hours, even the cashier in the supermarket or the waiter at dinner. Be with them in silence and make them feel like they have your attention.
The look of a lonely person feeling noticed for the first time in a day is one you won’t forget!
This power of no is derived from three elements: discernment (the ability to perceive the abundance in your life), compassion (the basis for listening with an open heart) and health (abstaining from the things that harm you).
But implementing these three elements can be difficult. Thankfully, expressing gratitude can help sustain your commitment to the Power of No.
Start by listing all your problems – your cheating partner, your neighbor’s loud parties or your stagnant job search – then list all the good things in your life, from breathing fresh air to having a roof over your head.
Then go on a gratitude diet: Start each day by thinking about ten things you are thankful for. This will help you focus more on the good in your life and say no to the bad.
To get the most from the Power of No, you will need to involve all four of your “bodies”: the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual. In order to serve and care for all four bodies, try using the alien technique:
Imagine yourself as an extraterrestrial special agent on a mission to save lives. But to reach your goal, you must possess the body of a human for one day.
On the first morning in your new human body, you become acutely aware of what the body needs: a little bit of physical or mental exercise, a green smoothie or perhaps a resolution to a problem that is causing undue stress.
With this knowledge, your mission becomes clear: “Go for a run,” “Read a book,” “Get the smoothie and meditate for a while” or “Solve the problem.”
In the end, using the Power of No, you’ll be better equipped to say yes to yourself. You will shine, be loved and be proud of your contributions to the world!
We make countless decisions each day that have drastic effects on our lives. We must learn to say no to the things that damage us so that we can say yes to health, abundance and happiness.
Check out my related post: Do you have the loss aversion bias?