The Dream-Killing "No" is Often Illogical

You don’t need to say yes to your dream right away. You simply need to not say no.


Want a simple tip to increase the likelihood that you will find a career that lights you up? One that is easy to implement and involves no risk whatsoever?

Resist the urge to say “No” prematurely.

Easy, huh? But too often I hear the glimmer of a dream start to show up, only to be followed immediately by some variation of “That will never work,” or, “That’s not realistic.”

I once had a client who was extremely logical in his thinking. We were at the stage of the process where we were brainstorming possible career paths. He mentioned one idea and his face lit up. Clearly the idea had hit the mark for him. But he followed it immediately with: “But I could never make a living doing that.”

I looked at him and said, “You know, never mind the whole passion idea. Let’s look at this from a purely logical perspective. Do you really mean to tell me that you have all the information you need to be able to a well-informed decision on whether this is a feasible idea or not?”

“No,” he said.

“OK, now let’s say you just let the idea exist until you do have the information you need. Is there any risk to that?”

Again, “No.”

“So tell me – from a purely logical, rational perspective, does it make any sense whatsoever to say no when you don’t have the information you need to make a decision based on the facts?”

One more time, “No, it doesn’t.”

In the end, the answer really might be no. Then again, as you dig into it, you might discover that the answer is yes. Or that a variation of the original idea leads to yes.

You don’t need to say yes right away. You simply need to not say no.

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.


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