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Saying No is a Luxury

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Sometimes I feel, saying no is a luxury. In our second trimester at IMT Nagpur, we had the subject of Business Communication where we were introduced to the topic ‘The art of saying No’. We learnt that a path to a healthy work life balance and successful life depended very much on our choice of saying Yes or No to whatever comes our way. By saying no to things which doesn’t interest us or help us in any way immediately or in future, we can lessen our burden of responsibilities. We can decrease the obligations we put up on ourselves by saying yes to everything that comes across us. It’s the process of filtering or the art of identifying what responsibilities to take up; that was the focus of the program.

And today after working for three weeks on the current project in my Summer Internship Program, a realisation dawned on me that I am mismatched with type of project work. I, being a textile technologist and having no idea about how automobiles work is working on a project that deals with a part of engine technology in automobiles. It took me around 8 to 10 days initially just to understand how an engine works, what are its basic technologies and its limitations and how is it advancing. I have gathered a working knowledge of the technology and now understand various intricacies of it. But still the conceptual base is weak and sometimes I find myself questioning myself about my understanding of the topic. But all is not as bad as it seems. I took a positive interest in it as such because of my fascination for automobiles.

The above is an example of me saying a Yes to a project out of my domain. I could have asked for a project more suitable to my background but then I would have lost the opportunity to learn what I learnt in these past few weeks. I created an opportunity for myself to explore a new competency. Though it’s giving me nightmares and continuous stress, I am all ready to face it, partly because work-life balance has no place in my bachelor life now and partly because I will be gaining a perspective on a new sector of the industry. But it won’t be possible for me to say yes always and create new opportunities for me in the future; not if the stress associated with it will affect my work-life balance. And thinking about those possibilities, will I be able to say No then, without affecting my work relations and without affecting my future growth prospects?

That’s why I said what I said. Saying No is a luxury for those who already have too much on hand and they won’t be affected if they turn down something or someone. So I feel if you want to achieve something in life and be happy about it, then this is one prize which you should be striving for. When will I achieve it? I don’t know. Will I be able to achieve it? For that, I will have to wait and watch. Till then I will have to ironically say yes to everything that comes across me so I can be ready with the tools to say No to, when I achieve it. Isn’t it?

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