When I’m truly, fully living my life, I find that things that don’t fit a little, don’t fit at all. The pace of life is just too fast to handle the mismatches.

Everybody say, nothing come too easy
When you got it, baby, nothing come too hard.

–Prince, “Baby, I’m a Star”

Saying no to things that are obvious mismatches with my priorities, lifestyle, and goals is easy. It’s when things flirt with the line—when I find myself asking, “It’s not perfect, but this is life and I gotta make a decision, isn’t it close enough?”—that I’ve discovered saying no to be equally as important.

Small mismatches beget accommodations and workarounds which, more often than not, create bigger mismatches and more accommodations. Pretty soon things are such a mess that I’m feeling like I’m constantly chasing and never quite where I want to be, never quite doing what I want to be doing.

Sometimes, accommodations and workarounds are necessary. But not as often as I thought. And, never on a “temp-to-perm” basis. Now when I put them into place, I don’t have the naïve (and almost always false) hope that they’ll work out in the end if only I bend a little more… which makes them easier to jettison after they’ve served their purpose. I find I’m much happier, having more success, and less stressed as a result.


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