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The Works

Start Stopping

By September 6, 2022September 21st, 2022No Comments

A brand new journal for September. So exciting!

Start Stopping

If you’re north of the equator, you know that September means wrapping up summer and Getting Ready to Go! There are three or four months until the end of the year, and it’s time to “Get Serious” with goals, commitments, and Making It All Happen.

I quite like that. I’ve been a hard worker all my life, and I respond well to this particular call to arms. (*Michael pretends to rev the engine of his imaginary motorbike by sticking his right arm out and doing the wrist-flick thing.*)

But the mistake I always make is by focusing on what I think will allow me to do more, faster. I often do that by adding on: I’m going to do this and this and this, oh and also this. My to-do list haunts and reassures me in equal measure, and there’s something disquieting about that.

But there’s an alternative (thank goodness).

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and author of Thinking Fast and Slow, said that “the best idea I ever heard in psychology” was that change is often best created by releasing the brake rather than pressing harder on the accelerator.

Rather than taking on more to drive towards success, say a bold No to existing commitments to create the capacity and energy and focus to actually work on the stuff that matters.

We love saying Yes. We find it hard to say No. And it turns out that saying a clear and kind No is one of the secrets to a better life.

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.