Last Updated On December 19, 2014

 

TODDLER WISDOM: Five Powerful Things You Can Learn From Watching 2-Year-Olds by Doug Motel

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Excerpt: The Power of “No!”
(get the full version of Doug Motel‘s TODDLER WISDOM right here!)

“Do you want broccoli?” Carrie asks. We have a list of vegetables for Maitreya to choose from for dinner. We like her to pick what she wants, but we have already decided what is in column A, B, and C so it’s a win-win for all of us.

“I don’t want this.” Maitreya says, not unfriendly but quite definitely.
“Do you want Cauliflower?” I ask.
“No,” she states emphatically.
“How about squash? We got it from farmer Kate and farmer Ron yesterday.” Carrie offers temptingly.
“I want squash!” Maitreya says with a grin and a hand gesture that resembles someone drying their nail polish while swatting at flies.

Ah… the power of “no.” If I could learn to say “no” as clearly as my toddler, this alone would improve my life greatly. A recent example really hit home.

I had written a new solo show. It was an evening of stories about some of the darker things I have witnessed in America, including the day that I was a new hire for a temp job in a building 12 blocks north of the World Trade Center starting September 11, 2001. The office had a bird’s eye view of the horrible unfolding drama.

I tried to create an evening of theater that had some humor, but it really turned out to be very much about the missed opportunities we have had to unite instead of divide as a species. Not exactly a yuk fest.

I was invited to perform the show in a venue that was clearly not a theater. It was a musical cabaret venue that’s only spoken-word performances had been stand-up comedy, open-mic nights. It was a three-and-a-half-hour drive and the booking was scheduled for an upcoming date that was predicted to be a snowstorm.

Every voice inside of me said, “No! This is a mistake!” but horrified, I heard my out-loud voice say, “Yes, I will do it.”

Though there was no snow, I got that bad feeling again when they showed me the “theater.”

This monologue was staged for me to use three sections of the playing area, but I quickly realized that I would be lucky to even turn my body around on the postage sized platform that held up a white baby grand piano. If I moved my arms too quickly, the silver, tinsel rain curtain behind me would flutter.

Perhaps I could have enthralled the audience while standing there stiffly in front of the microphone, telling my stories and even gotten away with it — except for one very big problem. To get to the cabaret, patrons had to walk through a huge disco. It was “lesbians-only night” and the people who bought tickets to see my performance had to fight their way through the throngs of dancing, mingling singles and the deafening beat.

Throughout my performance, women looking for the restroom would open the cabaret door and flood the room with pulsating dance music before yelling out a drunken, “Oh, lookin’ for the bathroom!” and shutting the door.

Needless to say, the incongruity of the raucous, sapphic, celebration surrounding my — at times grim — series of confessionals and invocations for a better tomorrow made for a bizarre 80 minutes. I couldn’t wait for it to end and neither could the audience. The funny thing though (not “ha ha” funny) was that I knew from the beginning that this was a bad match between content and venue, but I was afraid to say “no.” I thought somehow that I did not have the right to say “no” to any opportunity.

Sometimes Maitreya says “no” to things that we want her to say “yes” to like, “No go to bed!” but for the most part, she uses “no” to communicate her honest choices. “Do you want to go on the swing?” I’ll ask. She will size it up and then say “no” or her newest: “nope.” As a result, her time on the playground is usually filled with exactly what she wants to do and not a minute on what she doesn’t — is there really any other way to spend time at a playground?

Have you ever found yourself squirming when someone you were not at all interested in was trying to ask you out on a date? Well, if you said “maybe” followed by a non-committal smile then you just gave someone all the encouragement they need, because saying “maybe” to someone who has decided that you are the answer to their prayers is a “yes.”

Chances are, in that scenario, you ended up creating ill feelings for yourself and a bit of a mess for both of you when you had the right all along to just say “no.”

Saying “yes” when you want to say “no” or not saying anything and hoping that people will read your mind or body language is just a time waster. Eventually, your “no” will rise to the surface in some form or another.

The biggest problem with not saying “no” is that it robs us of our instincts. When our rational mind eventually talks us out of our gut reaction to turn away from something, we lose touch with our ability to discern what is right for ourselves. And where we once knew immediately what we did and didn’t want, we begin to get mired down in our thinking: “Should I take that job or not?” “Do I move to Chicago or stay here?” “Do I want to go out with her or not?” We know the answers to these types of questions, we just lose our ability to hear them.

Every “no” can lead us closer to a “yes.” By the time I met my wife, I had dated so much that I knew exactly what I didn’t want and began saying an emphatic “no” to people I knew were not a match. I became great at doing this in dating, which led me to say to myself, “Well, what exactly DO you want?” And a month later after I got clear about it, I met my wife and I knew immediately that she was the “yes.”

Watching Maitreya saying “no” to what she doesn’t want is inspiring me to do it in business as I did it in dating. It requires a sense that there is an unlimited supply of whatever you need. Creating the “unlimited supply” feeling can take a whole lot of practice if you are not used to feeling that you have the right to say “no” to what you do not want, but it is worth the effort because really, if not now then when, hmmmm?

Inquiry~

When have you ever found yourself saying “yes,” “maybe” or keeping silent when you really wanted to say “nooooooo?”

How would you handle it differently today? What do you think would change?

Who would you be if you could easily say “no” when you are being pressured to say “yes?”

What people or peoples are you most likely to cave in to? What might the benefit be for you if you told the truth? What might the benefit be to them?

© Doug Motel
Motel_300dpi-3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Motel is a husband, dad, writer, actor, speaker, portrait artist, singer/songwriter and marketing coach. He is the creator of the personal growth workshop “Playing the Game of Life” that has been presented to thousands of people for more than twenty years.

In addition, Doug acts as Chief Visionary Officer for social media and search engine marketing company Site Optimized, helping artists and small businesses tell their stories. He lives in the mid-Hudson valley of New York with his wife Carrie Wykoff and their daughter Maitreya.

Visit www.dougmotel.com.

 

Last Updated On December 19, 2014

 

TODDLER WISDOM: Five Powerful Things You Can Learn From Watching 2-Year-Olds by Doug Motel

 

Excerpt: The Power of “No!”
(get the full version of Doug Motel‘s TODDLER WISDOM right here!)

“Do you want broccoli?” Carrie asks. We have a list of vegetables for Maitreya to choose from for dinner. We like her to pick what she wants, but we have already decided what is in column A, B, and C so it’s a win-win for all of us.

“I don’t want this.” Maitreya says, not unfriendly but quite definitely.
“Do you want Cauliflower?” I ask.
“No,” she states emphatically.
“How about squash? We got it from farmer Kate and farmer Ron yesterday.” Carrie offers temptingly.
“I want squash!” Maitreya says with a grin and a hand gesture that resembles someone drying their nail polish while swatting at flies.

Ah… the power of “no.” If I could learn to say “no” as clearly as my toddler, this alone would improve my life greatly. A recent example really hit home.

I had written a new solo show. It was an evening of stories about some of the darker things I have witnessed in America, including the day that I was a new hire for a temp job in a building 12 blocks north of the World Trade Center starting September 11, 2001. The office had a bird’s eye view of the horrible unfolding drama.

I tried to create an evening of theater that had some humor, but it really turned out to be very much about the missed opportunities we have had to unite instead of divide as a species. Not exactly a yuk fest.

I was invited to perform the show in a venue that was clearly not a theater. It was a musical cabaret venue that’s only spoken-word performances had been stand-up comedy, open-mic nights. It was a three-and-a-half-hour drive and the booking was scheduled for an upcoming date that was predicted to be a snowstorm.

Every voice inside of me said, “No! This is a mistake!” but horrified, I heard my out-loud voice say, “Yes, I will do it.”

Though there was no snow, I got that bad feeling again when they showed me the “theater.”

This monologue was staged for me to use three sections of the playing area, but I quickly realized that I would be lucky to even turn my body around on the postage sized platform that held up a white baby grand piano. If I moved my arms too quickly, the silver, tinsel rain curtain behind me would flutter.

Perhaps I could have enthralled the audience while standing there stiffly in front of the microphone, telling my stories and even gotten away with it — except for one very big problem. To get to the cabaret, patrons had to walk through a huge disco. It was “lesbians-only night” and the people who bought tickets to see my performance had to fight their way through the throngs of dancing, mingling singles and the deafening beat.

Throughout my performance, women looking for the restroom would open the cabaret door and flood the room with pulsating dance music before yelling out a drunken, “Oh, lookin’ for the bathroom!” and shutting the door.

Needless to say, the incongruity of the raucous, sapphic, celebration surrounding my — at times grim — series of confessionals and invocations for a better tomorrow made for a bizarre 80 minutes. I couldn’t wait for it to end and neither could the audience. The funny thing though (not “ha ha” funny) was that I knew from the beginning that this was a bad match between content and venue, but I was afraid to say “no.” I thought somehow that I did not have the right to say “no” to any opportunity.

Sometimes Maitreya says “no” to things that we want her to say “yes” to like, “No go to bed!” but for the most part, she uses “no” to communicate her honest choices. “Do you want to go on the swing?” I’ll ask. She will size it up and then say “no” or her newest: “nope.” As a result, her time on the playground is usually filled with exactly what she wants to do and not a minute on what she doesn’t — is there really any other way to spend time at a playground?

Have you ever found yourself squirming when someone you were not at all interested in was trying to ask you out on a date? Well, if you said “maybe” followed by a non-committal smile then you just gave someone all the encouragement they need, because saying “maybe” to someone who has decided that you are the answer to their prayers is a “yes.”

Chances are, in that scenario, you ended up creating ill feelings for yourself and a bit of a mess for both of you when you had the right all along to just say “no.”

Saying “yes” when you want to say “no” or not saying anything and hoping that people will read your mind or body language is just a time waster. Eventually, your “no” will rise to the surface in some form or another.

The biggest problem with not saying “no” is that it robs us of our instincts. When our rational mind eventually talks us out of our gut reaction to turn away from something, we lose touch with our ability to discern what is right for ourselves. And where we once knew immediately what we did and didn’t want, we begin to get mired down in our thinking: “Should I take that job or not?” “Do I move to Chicago or stay here?” “Do I want to go out with her or not?” We know the answers to these types of questions, we just lose our ability to hear them.

Every “no” can lead us closer to a “yes.” By the time I met my wife, I had dated so much that I knew exactly what I didn’t want and began saying an emphatic “no” to people I knew were not a match. I became great at doing this in dating, which led me to say to myself, “Well, what exactly DO you want?” And a month later after I got clear about it, I met my wife and I knew immediately that she was the “yes.”

Watching Maitreya saying “no” to what she doesn’t want is inspiring me to do it in business as I did it in dating. It requires a sense that there is an unlimited supply of whatever you need. Creating the “unlimited supply” feeling can take a whole lot of practice if you are not used to feeling that you have the right to say “no” to what you do not want, but it is worth the effort because really, if not now then when, hmmmm?

Inquiry~

When have you ever found yourself saying “yes,” “maybe” or keeping silent when you really wanted to say “nooooooo?”

How would you handle it differently today? What do you think would change?

Who would you be if you could easily say “no” when you are being pressured to say “yes?”

What people or peoples are you most likely to cave in to? What might the benefit be for you if you told the truth? What might the benefit be to them?

© Doug Motel
Motel_300dpi-3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Motel is a husband, dad, writer, actor, speaker, portrait artist, singer/songwriter and marketing coach. He is the creator of the personal growth workshop “Playing the Game of Life” that has been presented to thousands of people for more than twenty years.

In addition, Doug acts as Chief Visionary Officer for social media and search engine marketing company Site Optimized, helping artists and small businesses tell their stories. He lives in the mid-Hudson valley of New York with his wife Carrie Wykoff and their daughter Maitreya.

Visit www.dougmotel.com.

Last Updated On December 19, 2014

TODDLER WISDOM: Five Powerful Things You Can Learn From Watching 2-Year-Olds by Doug Motel

Excerpt: The Power of “No!”
(get the full version of Doug Motel‘s TODDLER WISDOM right here!)

“Do you want broccoli?” Carrie asks. We have a list of vegetables for Maitreya to choose from for dinner. We like her to pick what she wants, but we have already decided what is in column A, B, and C so it’s a win-win for all of us.

“I don’t want this.” Maitreya says, not unfriendly but quite definitely.
“Do you want Cauliflower?” I ask.
“No,” she states emphatically.
“How about squash? We got it from farmer Kate and farmer Ron yesterday.” Carrie offers temptingly.
“I want squash!” Maitreya says with a grin and a hand gesture that resembles someone drying their nail polish while swatting at flies.

Ah… the power of “no.” If I could learn to say “no” as clearly as my toddler, this alone would improve my life greatly. A recent example really hit home.

I had written a new solo show. It was an evening of stories about some of the darker things I have witnessed in America, including the day that I was a new hire for a temp job in a building 12 blocks north of the World Trade Center starting September 11, 2001. The office had a bird’s eye view of the horrible unfolding drama.

I tried to create an evening of theater that had some humor, but it really turned out to be very much about the missed opportunities we have had to unite instead of divide as a species. Not exactly a yuk fest.

I was invited to perform the show in a venue that was clearly not a theater. It was a musical cabaret venue that’s only spoken-word performances had been stand-up comedy, open-mic nights. It was a three-and-a-half-hour drive and the booking was scheduled for an upcoming date that was predicted to be a snowstorm.

Every voice inside of me said, “No! This is a mistake!” but horrified, I heard my out-loud voice say, “Yes, I will do it.”

Though there was no snow, I got that bad feeling again when they showed me the “theater.”

This monologue was staged for me to use three sections of the playing area, but I quickly realized that I would be lucky to even turn my body around on the postage sized platform that held up a white baby grand piano. If I moved my arms too quickly, the silver, tinsel rain curtain behind me would flutter.

Perhaps I could have enthralled the audience while standing there stiffly in front of the microphone, telling my stories and even gotten away with it — except for one very big problem. To get to the cabaret, patrons had to walk through a huge disco. It was “lesbians-only night” and the people who bought tickets to see my performance had to fight their way through the throngs of dancing, mingling singles and the deafening beat.

Throughout my performance, women looking for the restroom would open the cabaret door and flood the room with pulsating dance music before yelling out a drunken, “Oh, lookin’ for the bathroom!” and shutting the door.

Needless to say, the incongruity of the raucous, sapphic, celebration surrounding my — at times grim — series of confessionals and invocations for a better tomorrow made for a bizarre 80 minutes. I couldn’t wait for it to end and neither could the audience. The funny thing though (not “ha ha” funny) was that I knew from the beginning that this was a bad match between content and venue, but I was afraid to say “no.” I thought somehow that I did not have the right to say “no” to any opportunity.

Sometimes Maitreya says “no” to things that we want her to say “yes” to like, “No go to bed!” but for the most part, she uses “no” to communicate her honest choices. “Do you want to go on the swing?” I’ll ask. She will size it up and then say “no” or her newest: “nope.” As a result, her time on the playground is usually filled with exactly what she wants to do and not a minute on what she doesn’t — is there really any other way to spend time at a playground?

Have you ever found yourself squirming when someone you were not at all interested in was trying to ask you out on a date? Well, if you said “maybe” followed by a non-committal smile then you just gave someone all the encouragement they need, because saying “maybe” to someone who has decided that you are the answer to their prayers is a “yes.”

Chances are, in that scenario, you ended up creating ill feelings for yourself and a bit of a mess for both of you when you had the right all along to just say “no.”

Saying “yes” when you want to say “no” or not saying anything and hoping that people will read your mind or body language is just a time waster. Eventually, your “no” will rise to the surface in some form or another.

The biggest problem with not saying “no” is that it robs us of our instincts. When our rational mind eventually talks us out of our gut reaction to turn away from something, we lose touch with our ability to discern what is right for ourselves. And where we once knew immediately what we did and didn’t want, we begin to get mired down in our thinking: “Should I take that job or not?” “Do I move to Chicago or stay here?” “Do I want to go out with her or not?” We know the answers to these types of questions, we just lose our ability to hear them.

Every “no” can lead us closer to a “yes.” By the time I met my wife, I had dated so much that I knew exactly what I didn’t want and began saying an emphatic “no” to people I knew were not a match. I became great at doing this in dating, which led me to say to myself, “Well, what exactly DO you want?” And a month later after I got clear about it, I met my wife and I knew immediately that she was the “yes.”

Watching Maitreya saying “no” to what she doesn’t want is inspiring me to do it in business as I did it in dating. It requires a sense that there is an unlimited supply of whatever you need. Creating the “unlimited supply” feeling can take a whole lot of practice if you are not used to feeling that you have the right to say “no” to what you do not want, but it is worth the effort because really, if not now then when, hmmmm?

Inquiry~

When have you ever found yourself saying “yes,” “maybe” or keeping silent when you really wanted to say “nooooooo?”

How would you handle it differently today? What do you think would change?

Who would you be if you could easily say “no” when you are being pressured to say “yes?”

What people or peoples are you most likely to cave in to? What might the benefit be for you if you told the truth? What might the benefit be to them?

© Doug Motel
Motel_300dpi-3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Motel is a husband, dad, writer, actor, speaker, portrait artist, singer/songwriter and marketing coach. He is the creator of the personal growth workshop “Playing the Game of Life” that has been presented to thousands of people for more than twenty years.

In addition, Doug acts as Chief Visionary Officer for social media and search engine marketing company Site Optimized, helping artists and small businesses tell their stories. He lives in the mid-Hudson valley of New York with his wife Carrie Wykoff and their daughter Maitreya.

Visit www.dougmotel.com.