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A New Yes

Spiritual Training Cycle: Examination (wk. 7/13)


We’ve got an epidemic in this country. It’s called Yes Syndrome. Fueled by a mindset that humans can and should do everything that comes their way, people with Yes Syndrome are over planned, over committed, and one step away from burn out. Yes Syndromer’s have a thriving social media feed full of all their yeses. They have a calendar of activities that would rival any first-world country leader. But what’s missing is opportunity. Which would seem crazy because how can opportunity be missing when a person says yes to every opportunity that comes along? Because you can’t really say yes to everything. So, what Yes Syndromer’s do is say yes to the first things. But what if those things aren’t the best things? If you want less pain in your life, less friction in your relationships, and less tension in your heart, you need a new yes. Here are four tips to build a new yes.


New Yes TIP # 1 // Focus on consumption, not your calendar

This is the ultimate new yes hack. Simple inventory – What are you consuming? I don’t mean food, although that matters. I mean everything else. The scrolling, the new series, the old classics, the podcasts, music, even the thoughts in your head. That’s all stuff you’re saying yes to. And it’s having an impact on other yeses in your life.


My friend Jake realized this when he took a consumption inventory. Jake noticed when he watched drama shows where anger and violence were in the primary plot line, he was more aggressive and angrier in life. His yes to those shows meant yes to anger, hostility, and aggression. What you consume can ultimately end up consuming you. Start creating your new yes by taking an inventory of what you’re consuming.


New Yes TIP # 2 // Build a priority pyramid

Start at the top. What’s the number one most important priority in your life? For me, it’s Jesus. Jesus is at the top of my priority pyramid, followed by my wife, my kids, my friends, and so on. As a category, it’s relationships. I prioritize people before processes. After relationships comes fitness and my fitness journey, which encompasses things such as exercise, nutrition, and hydration. And then I prioritize recovery. I value down time. It’s where my body adapts, my mind turns off, and my soul rests.


Based on these priorities, one of the places you are least likely to find me is social media. I’m on there briefly for work, but it doesn’t fit within what’s truly important in my life. Priorities create margin in your life, and they are essential to a new yes.


New Yes TIP # 3 // Master the art of saying no

Saying no is a skill. Ask any parent. You know how you learn a skill? Exactly. You practice. You can’t master the art of saying no without plenty of practice. So, start looking for things to say no to. And if you have a faith system, please don’t make the excuse that the reason it’s hard for you to say no is that everything coming your way is from God. It’s not. Instead, it’s your chance to build the skill of saying no. Here are some powerful no’s to consider:


-       No, I’m not going to hang out with that friend group anymore

-       No, I’m not going to text my co-workers or boss in the evening or on weekends

-       No, I’m not going to relive the past

-       No, I’m not going to say that mean or hurtful thing I want to

-       No, I’m not going to “just have one drink.”

-       No, I’m not going to stay up late binge watching


A new yes won’t be yours until you master the art of saying no.


New Yes TIP # 4 // Guard your heart

The Bible contains a few books that focus solely on wisdom. One of those is the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 4:23 says,


Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.


The author of this proverb was not a cardiologist, so understand he’s not referring to the organ we call a heart. Instead, he’s referring to your mind, your personality, your inner being. And if everything we do flows from that, then we’ve got to protect it. Defend it. We’ve got to downright fight for it. For me, that’s where my spiritual exercise program kicks in.


One of the spiritual exercises I practice is called self-care. In the faith system I use, we define self-care as allowing Jesus to nurture our soul. And man does my soul need nurturing! When you think about self-care, you might think of a massage or a bubble bath or maybe even a pedicure. Those are all nice, but they don’t nurture the soul like Jesus does.


When I’m ready for some self-care, I like to find a quiet space where I can have a little solitude. I might play a worship song or pray or read the Bible. But my goal is just to open my heart and make it accessible to God. Then He does the rest. Now, you could listen to worship music while you take a bubble bath, or you could pray while you get a pedicure and that may work great for you. We can all get our self-care on in different ways as long as our goal is the same – to let Jesus nurture our soul. He’s the ultimate Guard of our heart and the path to your new yes.


Questions for Reflection:

Which tip captured your attention the most and why?


Would you say limits decrease or increase our freedom?

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