To me, Twitter is this little town of totally crazy awesomeness. It’s a place where I get to express myself completely through the written word, and I am so much better at saying things by writing them down than by speaking them aloud. It’s a place where I get to listen to the conversations of others and join in, no questions asked. It’s a place where I get to choose who I’m surrounding myself with and strategically plan who I’m going to be within this little sphere. And it’s a place where I can connect instantly with intelligent, warm, caring, compassionate, funny people all over the world — instantly. It also just so happens that 75% of the totally crazy awesome stuff that’s happened in my life recently has been a direct result of connections made on Twitter. Meeting one of the writers I most admire in the whole world? Twitter. Reconnecting with this totally awesome outrageous feminist genius friend who was merely an acquaintance back in high school? Twitter. Getting free life coaching from somebody whose services I would totally pay for if I could afford it right now anyway? Twitter.
Which brings us to my point. One of my favorite self-improvement-ey bloggers is a life coach. Her name is Dian. Coach Dian, to be exact. Doesn’t it have a fantastic ring to it when you add the Coach to the front? Well, a few weeks ago, she put out this innocent tweet saying that she was giving away free life coaching to anyone who identified as a member of the LGBTQ community (that’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer/Questioning, for you non-Gender Studies nerds). While it sounded way too good to be true, I immediately emailed her. I needed a coach. I was buried under too much work, I didn’t know where I was going with my writing, and I thought I might want to learn about becoming a coach myself, but I just couldn’t afford to invest in one right now. I was in need of guidance, bad.
To my complete and utter astonishment, Dian was for real. As you can see on her website, she’s committed to the LGBTQ community in a big way. So here I am, in my second week of coaching with her, identifying my values in life and having crazy smack-my-forehead epiphanies the day after our sessions. Something Dian said last night hit me in a big way, right away.
When you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else.
Whoa. I mean, whoa. When Dian said this, I had to write it down in my journal. I had to take note. I had to remember this. It seemed like one of those truths, one of those precious feathers of wisdom that should be passed down through generations by grandmothers. It applies to nearly everything in my life, nearly every move I make and every decision I belabor.
When I say yes to going to a mainstream blockbuster movie that makes fun of LGBTQ folks, I’m saying no to spending that time in a way that actually aligns with my values. When I say yes to writing a blog post, I’m saying no to a couple hours of Facebook browsing. When I say yes to chatting with my coworkers, I’m saying no to shutting them out.
This nugget of wisdom I received last night from Dian is especially wonderful to me because I chose two words to guide me through 2010. One of them? Yes. After last night, I feel better prepared to make informed, strategic decisions about how I choose to use that “yes” as I move forward. Instead of saying yes to everything, I have an excellent tool to help me weigh my options and figure out whether committing to this thing takes me where I want to go in life, represents who I want to be.
What about you? What are you saying yes to this year? At the same time, what are you saying no to?