by James Altucher
No is an incredibly painful, brave word to say. How many times have you had to say no only to have it cause anguish, desperation, arguments, and anxiety? Even the hours, days, and months before you say no are filled with anxiety: “Should I?” “Could I?” “What will happen?”
But you have the right to say no. In fact, you have a whole Bill of Rights. These rights are already yours. Our new book The Power of No will help you fully realize them.
Here are 6 of the The No Bill of Rights that will give you the power you need to get where you want to go in life:
1. You Have the Right to Defend Your Life
You are entitled to say NO to the things that will directly hurt you: fire, jumping off a building, drinking poison, overdosing. People readily say no to something as extreme and dramatic as fire. But other No’s are more subtle. It might be harder to say no to cigarettes, alcohol, or toxic relationships. You decide what you say no to. Nobody else does.
2. You Have the Right to Healthy Relationships and Real Love
You decide whom you say NO to. You are entitled to choose your tribe, regardless of what society imposes on you. You decide who in your life drains you of energy, and then purge them so you can soar. This does not mean you become a hermit; it means you choose your family, your friends, your colleagues, your tribe, your life.
3. You Have the Right to Use Your Talents and Allow Abundance into Your Life
You are entitled to say NO to whatever gets in the way of your creative force and keeps it from bringing you a life of abundance. You are uniquely needed in this world, but only if you say no to the barricades. You have a mission. Only you can give the gift you have. You deserve abundance, wealth, and appreciation for your work.
4. You Have the Right to Assert What You Want
Every day, colleagues, institutions, bosses, friends, and family want you to attend to their needs. They don’t do this because they are bad or selfish. They do this because it is simply what people
do; they have their own best interests at heart. And you are also entitled to have your best interests at heart. You don’t have to do what everyone else in society is doing.
You are a unique combination of DNA, environment, culture, and personal experiences. For you to say yes to something, it has to be special to you. Everything else, no matter what the consequences, you are entitled to say NO to. When you say yes to something you don’t want to do, here is the result: you hate what you are doing, you resent the person
who asked you, and you hurt yourself.
5. You Have the Right to Choose What Stories You Believe In
Why did humans move up the food chain 70,000 years ago? Because we developed the language to tell stories. Stories, myths, religions, and institutions allow us to cooperate with millions of other humans. Humans are great storytellers. That’s what separates us from every other species. There are thousands of common stories that are baked into our societal mythology and that we believe are real. Some of them are: College. Owning a home. Marriage. Children. Having a cushy job. Postponing our dreams for when there will be money. “Work hard and succeed!” Ten thousand hours to mastery. And so on.
You are entitled to say NO to the stories that do not serve your own evolution, and yes only to the ones that align with your spiritual work, your bliss, and your ability to manifest a fulfilling life. Distinguishing your true stories from the ones that aren’t true for you protects you from the seven billion people who want to keep you in line.
6. You Have the Right to Be Honest, Above All, with Yourself
You are entitled to say NO to wearing a mask in order to get people to like you. You can trust that the way you are is fine, that your honesty is what attracts others to you, and that your truth is
what lights your internal fire. The world right now is filled with fog. Honesty is a beacon.
Your honesty—saying no to the lying—is what will bring the lost ships home. It’s what will bring health, love, and money to you.