The Power of No🙅‍♂️👎🚫 | 44

In this episode we talk about how NO might be a really short word but it’s a really powerful world. I share how the word NO has changed my life and protected me when I was in Afghanistan. We also discuss how we need to be around people who compliment our weaknesses. For me, the desire to say yes is really strong and means that I need people who can help me say no as part of my team.


music by Dyalla Swain


hello and welcome to parking thought the
show where we highlight the good in the
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curiosity meet gratitude my name is
Jacob and I’m glad you’re here today in
this edition we’re gonna be talking
about the power of no yes no is a short
one syllable word two letters pretty
easy to spell sometimes my dog gets
confused and think that his name is no
but that’s not the case the dog’s name
is actually Kousaka and he’s a good dog
we’ll talk about his name in just a
minute but for right now let’s talk
about what no means and how it can add
value so we as human beings want to
please others at least in general we
have this desire to be socially accepted
and we think that being socially
accepting means that we are nice to
other people and that means we have an
inclination to say yes to things that we
don’t always have the time or the
capacity to do and that can cause
problems you know you actually destroy
more trust by saying yes to something
and then failing to deliver then if you
had said notice something and just let
that person move on in one of the ways
that you can tell when you’re an
environment that involves trust is how
often people can say no and speak their
mind and being able to say no is
actually significantly changed my life
in high school I was not the greatest
I know that’ll shock you guys you’ve
regular listeners of this podcast know
how curious I get and how I can squirrel
down different avenues and how I’m
generally a lifelong learner
however in high school the government
schools that we have and myself didn’t
exactly get along I wasn’t terribly
interested in learning using the model
that they’d given us and didn’t see the
value in it and so my grades reflected
that and that was the consequence of it
I barely graduated high school by ten by
two points on a math
I was that terrible of a student I I’d
like to think that I’ve improved since
then but we can talk about that in just
a minute at the end of my high school
experience and and my father had been
very well and very wise with his
resources and money he had set aside
money for me to go to school and do all
kinds of things and set me up in life he
looked at my grades from high school and
he said well son you know I could send
you to college but it’d be a waste of
your time and my money so you need to
find something to do in life he was
telling me no he was telling me no he
was telling me that door
that option was closed to me and then I
needed to find something else and I did
I ended up joining the service joined
the army learned personal discipline
learned the value of an education and
was able to you know finish out a
-year career during that time I was
able to work on a degree in
communications first I did my associates
I worked on that on nights and weekends
I got to go to school full-time using a
scholarship program the army had so I
did that for about months when I
graduated from that full-time school at
Utah State University I’d made enough of
an impact in less than months to be
awarded the University’s Man of the Year
for that was a pretty big deal
not to me so then the next thing that I
did is is I continue to learn while I
was in the service and even though I had
become an officer and it had my
bachelor’s degree I continue to learn
and was able to get my my master’s
degree in IT project management all
because my father had the courage to
tell me no had he said yes my life would
have turned out much differently I
probably would have learned personal
discipline but I would have learned it
differently and maybe much later in life
and maybe after some challenges that
would have been hard to recover from
having the structure of the military was
pretty helpful there are other parts of
the military that are pretty hard to
talk about but the part where I learned
structure was really good I got told
know an awful lot from leaders in the
military I got told know an awful lot
from the mentors I had I am the sort of
person that likes to take on more things
than I usually have time for and I don’t
give myself enough time to decompress
until stop and think about the world but
thankfully I had mentors that would help
me and would say no ahead of time so
that way by the time I would see myself
in a situation where my plate was
already full that would be able to point
out to me hey your plates already full
now can you imagine if I I said yes to
what you wanted to do earlier so I’ve
gotten to be a better judge but of how
much I could put on my plate but more
importantly I’ve gotten to be a good
judge of how to find mentors that I can
can have that will tell me no because I
still don’t recognize it I think it’s
part of how I am programmed as a human
being as I need people in my life to
help me recognize when no is the right
answer I’m very grateful my father did
that I’m also very grateful for major
Brian Adams
oh I’m sure he’s been promoted he’s
probably no longer a major now but major
Adams was in charge of our small team in
Afghanistan in when we were
there and it was a time when we had to
be very vigilant about the idea that the
Afghan forces police and army were very
likely going to try or members of those
groups were very likely going to try to
kill Americans because we were leaving
and downsizing in that country and then
you know the Taliban still had their
influence people who were there you know
would know whether or not you helped out
the Americans and they would hold you
and your family accountable to that and
so lots of people were influenced to do
harm to Americans I was I was feeling
itchy I had been cooped up doing the
same routine for quite a while at one
point in Afghanistan I just needed to go
someplace and have a bit of a different
scenery so I asked major Adams if you if
I could go down for an event down one of
the bases that we had down the road it
was only a few miles
I could have traveled there easily on an
armed convoy you know with some other
group spent a couple days down there you
know and worked from there and then came
and he said no major Adams learned the
value of saying no the hard way and I
think if I ever get a chance to
interview him I’ll let him tell the
story of how hard it was for him to
learn to say no but I’m glad he did we
can’t be certain that on that day that I
might have gone someplace that something
bad would have happened or wouldn’t have
happened but I can tell you that I’m
here today in part because he knew the
value of saying no since being around
major Adams and you know a few other
experiences like I said I’ve learned
that I need to have a mentor in my life
who can help me judge when I’m doing too
much and so when you look at your own
life and you find your own weaknesses
and find your opportunities to balance
those weaknesses by the people that
you’re around there is nothing wrong
with having weaknesses and shortcomings
in your personality I am so grateful for
the people in my life who tell me know
when it’s appropriate no means the doors
closed that I need to keep walking and
that’s an okay place to be in no does
not mean it’s the end of the world it
just means it’s time to look elsewhere
or to focus on what you’re already doing
and I’ve had great people help me learn
that lesson over time know is powerful
and know also is a sign of an
organization with a lot of trust so now
I mentioned the dock we do have a dog
it’s a small dog he’s about pounds
somewhere in that range
he’s an ankle biter and his name is
Coast guy Kos TKA it’s a Polish word and
it’s the Polish word for ankle and so
the bone in your ankle in Polish is
Cosco our dog is named Kousaka and he is
an ankle biter only he’s a little more
kind he’s the size of an ankle biter but
one of the funniest things he does is he
actually shuts the door for people as
they’re already leaving
when guests that he wants to escort out
the out of the door our time to go
they’ll he’ll walk him up to the door
they’ll start to close it and he will
push that door closed with all of his
grit and force that he’s got all or
pounds of them he’ll go ahead and
push that closed and it’s pretty cute to
watch and so that’s our dog his name is
Kafka and I don’t think he’d be much of
an interview on the podcast so since
we’re at that part of the episode let’s
go ahead and wrap this up this is the
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