'No' Is The Button That Keeps Us On

Saying "no" can feel awful. It's often seen as rude, uncooperative, unfriendly or unhelpful. However, for makers and creators, "no" is "the button that keeps us on," writes Kevin Ashton on Medium.

In his essay titled "Creative People Say No", Ashton eloquently points out all the reasons saying "no" is essential if you want to be productive:

Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The maths of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy.

Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview, this letter, this trip to the movies, this dinner with friends, this party, this last day of summer. How much less will I create unless I say “no?” A sketch? A stanza? A paragraph? An experiment? 20 lines of code? The answer is always the same: “yes” makes less.

Saying "no" without feeling like a jerk isn't easy, but another "no" advocate Ernie Miller writes that "no" can be a beautiful word.

Creative People Say No [Medium]

Picture: Phatic-Photography/Shutterstock


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