So often people express minimalism as a lifestyle of cutting things out, but my experience with minimalism is that it’s a conscious effort to say yes to what is best. Here’s the rub, though – saying yes to what’s best means saying “NO” regularly.
- Have you felt bitter lately on your way to fulfill a commitment you wish you’d not said yes to?
- Does the stress of your children’s extra-curricular activities outweigh the value of them?
- Are you dependent on a paycheck at a job that’s not a good fit for either party?
While you may not be able to stop any of these situations in their tracks today, there’s a way you can prevent experiencing them again.
When an opportunity arises or a decision needs to be made, ask yourself: “Is this something only I can do?”
That’s my litmus test. If the answer is yes and I have sufficient time in my schedule, I do it. If the answer is no and I have sufficient time and sufficient interest I can still say yes (though I often don’t in order to leave time open for things I value more).
Important: Don’t say yes just because they need a warm body to fill a spot. If you’re not interested, someone else will be. Everyone’s better off when someone who wants to be there is the one who’s agreed to be there.
Finally, if you remain torn as to what to do, ask yourself if the opportunity meets any of the core values you have. I am more likely to say yes if an invitation relates to online ministry, minimalism, my kids, or adoption.