Have you have noticed how frequently we are presented with opportunities? Temptations, distractions and offers that are just "too good to miss" are almost as persistent in our lives today, as the wet, cold, winter has been! Although, I'm sure you were as blessed as I was to finally feel the warmth of sunshine this weekend :)
But I heard someone say something this week that made me stop dead in my tracks and compelled me to write about it here!
"Opportunities do not equal obligations".
Often, I assume opportunities are good, and that I would be foolish to say no! I know I've mentioned FOMO before, but I don't think I'd really considered that opportunities can also present themselves in the form of temptations.
Temptations such as...
- left-over easter eggs when you are trying to eat healthily;
- distractions from the work required, such as exam revision or having quiet times;
- bargains that have to be bought because they are just "too good to be true"
- or even the duvet covers that compel you to stay in your warm comfortable bed when you know you really need to get up and get active....
Temptations are all opportunities too - but opportunities don't make them obligations! - ie - I don't have to say yes to them - I still have a choice to overcome them!
I appreciate overcoming these opportunities is not as easy as it seems! Not only does it require us to be intentional - but it requires courage too.
- It takes courage to say no - It's uncomfortable to say no - we don't like disappointing others, and we want others to like us! Sometimes, it's easy to believe the lie that saying 'no' could jeopardise this.
- It takes courage to identify which opportunities may be harmful - This can be hard because this often this means being honest and saying no to ourselves about things we don't really want to say no to! Giving up instant gratification, comfort or denying oneself of pleasure. However, it's worth remembering that refusing to say no here, can eventually cost more in the long run.
- It takes courage to identify and focus on which opportunities will be helpful - The problem occurs here when so many things could be helpful, saying yes to every opportunity could end up diluting the impact of the one or two really good opportunities.
This is a problem because being consistent with just these one or two opportunities at a time could make the biggest difference.
By being intentional about saying no to many things, will most likely mean you can say yes to a few things well.
So this week - if you find yourself faced feeling obligated, why not use that as a God given opportunity to give yourself some time to consider that opportunities do not always equal obligation, and remember that being intentional is as much about elimination as it is addition!
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