It’s only Tuesday, and yet, I have had two conversations already this week about how easy it is to say “yes” to job opportunities, community activities, PTA volunteer work, and so many other things that come our way.  It is easy to accept what is in front of us, what is being offered, or what is being presented as something in our best interest, but is it the right thing for us?

Have you ever said “yes” to something only to regret it?  Has someone convinced you that an opportunity would be really good for you?  That you have the strengths to perform that type of work at a high level? 

I have.  I recall a time when I convinced myself that making a career move was my only option.  I moved into a role that I knew deep down inside was not what I wanted to do.  I could not articulate what my career path was at the time, but I felt like my options were very limited and that this position would work.  I persuaded myself that I would be able to focus on one aspect of the job that I felt pretty passionate about, and ultimately, I became stuck.  I fell into a rut of which it took me 3 years to climb out.

Too often we walk through life taking the easy path -- we make assumptions in our careers that this is the next step and say “yes” to that next move; we conclude that we must say “yes” to that volunteer work after all who else will sign up to do it.  We move through the days without a clear sense of intentionality.  We are driving our cars on the road of life without a clear view of where we are going and how we are getting there.

So, how do we turn our general “yes” into an intentional “yes”?  Start by defining your core values.  What is truly important to you?  Then, examine each opportunity through that lens.  How does this activity align with your core values?  In what ways does that job opportunity support you living in your core values? 

While these steps are not strenuous or burdensome, they do require a pause before we respond.  Being intentional with our “yes” is a game changer.  Better yet, it is a life changer!

What decisions are on your desk right now?  How will you be more intentional with your next “yes”?