| Decisions, decisions. The road on the left is the "Glen Road" running down towards Loch Avich.|
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some of my biggest lost opportunities came from me saying "no". I've had some interesting offers in my life--a few that could have resulted in extraordinary outcomes, but not having taken advantage of those opportunities I will never know how they might have turned out. Of course, my life having taken the course it has I'm in the place I was meant to be, therefore I harbor no regrets on what I've missed. One thing I have gained a greater awareness of is that when opportunity knocks, I need to pay close attention to what my acceptance can lead to if I answer the call.
No regrets is the mantra I live by. After all, what's the point? What could have been is apparently not what should have been and I have my present life to attest to that. If I had not declined certain offers or stubbornly resisted others, I would undoubtedly be in a far different place than I am now. That place might have been a good place--perhaps a better place than I am at this point in my life--or my place in life might not have gone so well. Maybe I wouldn't even be here today.
The word "no" can have great power. Not only does rejecting an offer close a door to an opportunity, but this action can kill a friendship or prevent a new relationship from flourishing. Those relationships might have amounted to great benefits or they might have been future difficulties averted by that little word "no".
A tiny negative word such as "no" can be much bigger than one might think. Saying it is diverting ones course in life to the extent that we head into a very different direction that we might have hoped for ourselves or where others might have wanted us to go. Sometimes we can go back to reconsider our choice. Second chances can happen, but more often than not they don't. Instead, we get different chances and new opportunities to set a course by saying "yes".
I can't go back in my life to change my course and I'll never really know what might have happened if I had accepted some of the opportunities that came my way at the times they presented themselves. Even if some of those opportunities came to me now at this stage of my life the outcome would not be the same as it might have been the first time they were offered to me. The past is a haze of what could have been if I had not said "no". My present is the result of my acceptance or rejection of my past decisions--or in some cases my indecisiveness.
The future? None of us can say for sure. Hopefully any wisdom gained or lessons learned from having said no, having said yes, or having delayed an answer until it was too late will guide us in coming up with the right responses to the next time we are given a chance to do something. Life is short when we are at the point of retrospection. As I head forward, the one thing I never want to say "no" to is life itself.
Is there an offer in your past that you sometimes wish you would have said "yes" to? Do you have a difficult time saying "no" even when doing so would be better for you? What opportunity would you like for someone to offer you?