There is always something we are asked to do more than we would like. We are often guilty of saying yes to something we feel half-hearted about and end up doing a halfway job. I have learned this lesson from my experiences, especially with a project that initially sounded good. It resulted in taking my energy and time away from the project to which I wanted to devote them. It is no one else's job but mine to know what excites me about work. Derek Silver, the author of "Hell Yeah Or No" recommends that if you're not feeling "Hell yeah, that would be awesome!" about something, say no. The answer is always intuitive and quick, spoken by your inner voice. If you don't feel genuine enthusiasm, say no to almost everything. This will free your time and mind.
However, there is value in saying yes when someone is starting their career. It adds variety and helps to figure out your preferences. I became more certain about who I am after many years of taking work that didn't excite me, but taught me valuable lessons. One of the beauties of getting old is that we can navigate our lives more efficiently from the wisdom we gain from youth.
When I say yes to something I am genuinely excited about, I will make space in life to give it my full attention. As Derek says, "Saying no makes your yes more powerful." This kind of decision making has helped me to shape life with focus and joy. If my day is filled with more absolutely YES decisions, I own the decisions and have fun. If I said yes to an hour of piano practice, I would give myself entirely to it. There is no place in this world I need to be other than on the piano bench.
I try to avoid ambivalence, saying yes but not living in that grey zone or doing a halfhearted job even if I fully committed myself to yes. Generally speaking, I love complexity and duality, which is perfectly fine for staying in the grey zone. Yet, I've learned that fully owning my choices has shown me a pathway to happiness; I say no to many, but I do the thing I do all the way.
Does your 'YES' list reflect who you are and how you direct your life? I hope your day is filled with your 'yes' choices, and you have fun on the playground of life.