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The Long Game - Issue #111

Do you have trouble saying no? In today’s society, we are under constant pressure to do more in all a
Taylor Somerville
The Long Game - Issue #111
By Taylor Somerville • Issue #111 • View online
Do you have trouble saying no? In today’s society, we are under constant pressure to do more in all areas of our lives. At times, it can be great to say “yes” to a lot and to try new things however, we must balance this with boundaries. If we say yes to everything, we spread ourselves too thin and are unable to focus on the essential. I read a book a couple of years ago called, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”, by Greg McKeown. This book breaks down Essentialism in great detail. If we want to make an impact, we can’t always say “yes.”
How often do you feel overwhelmed? A lot of this can be attributed to saying “yes” too often. For example, you are never able to give your full attention to a project if you have too many going on at once. I think part of the problem is that we are afraid to say “no.” We believe we will hurt someone’s feelings or our boss will get mad. The truth is, people will respect you more if you tell them the truth. When you do say “yes”, they will know you mean it and you will put your full attention to the work at hand.
I struggle with when to say “no” and realize one reason for this comes from a fear of missing out. If I don’t say “yes” to this project, I might be missing my big break. It is important to say “yes” more often early in your career so that you can build experience and figure out what you are good at, you must cut with a vengeance later on. Focus on the few projects that will provide the biggest impact and give yourself time to do the deep work. When trying to figure out what to say yes to, ask yourself, “Is this the most important thing I can be doing right now?” General Eisenhower’s says it best when he says, put the important and the urgent tasks before anything else.
That is it from me this week, let’s jump into this week’s links.

The Stoics thought deeply about doing the right things and not being busy for busy’s sake. They believed in being present in what you are doing and focusing on the task at hand. In today’s world of constant multi-tasking, we could all incorporate this philosophy. To do truly great work, we must single-task and focus on what is important.
In addition to Essentialism, this list has a few more concepts I particularly subscribe to. For example: 1) Slow down to go fast - we must give ourselves space to comprehend all the information we take in. If you don’t allow your brain to shut off from time to time, it is very hard to solve the problems you are working with. There is a reason a lot of ideas come to you in the shower or while you are asleep; 2)Be intellectually humble - nobody has all the answers and if you aren’t able to say “I don’t know”, I have a hard time trusting you. While we all want to be right, changing our minds as new information comes to us is essential and, if we aren’t humble, this task can be a big struggle. This is why large companies are left in the dust by the start-ups from time to time. These companies believe their way is the only way and by the time they catch on, it is all over. Kodak and Sears are good examples.
The days of bragging about how little sleep you got and pulling “all-nighters” for work are over. Nothing good comes from a lack of sleep. Sleep is where we recharge, recover and process information. This article is a great primer on the importance of sleep. If you want more information, “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker is a great book.
It is great to see more and more people speak about the benefits of proper breathing. Proper breathing has a powerful effect on your mental health. The ability to calm down in stressful situations by utilizing your breath is so simple and can go a long way in making impactful decisions in your life. At first, all you need is an awareness of how you are breathing during the day. When you establish that, focus on breathing through your nose and into your belly. When you get stressed, slow your breath down as much as you can, giving yourself a moment before you react to the stressful situation at hand.
Before I go, here are a few more interesting articles to check out.
If you would like to support The Long Game, please visit my patreon page. I hope you enjoyed another edition of The Long Game, feel free to pass it along. Have a great weekend!
In Health,
Did you enjoy this issue?
Taylor Somerville

The Long Game is a newsletter for people that want to grow and challenge themselves. It is about the drive to better ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually while having the curiosity to enjoy the journey. I will include articles, podcast, videos, and blogs on a variety of topics ranging from psychology, fitness, meditation, and nutrition. I am a certified XPT Coach, I hold the Art of Breath certification, I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and hold the Aerobic Capacity certficate. Checkout my website to learn more about the services I offer.

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