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Saying YES can ruin your chances of success

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Saying YES can ruin your chances of success

Saying YES can ruin your chances of success

Saying YES can ruin your chances of success

By Douglas  Vermeeren


A recent study reported that out of 100 people who set written goals more than 80% of them fail or never accomplish the goal. Why is that?


What is the #1 reason why most people fail to get to their goals? Would you believe it that it came down to simply saying one word too often? And that word was ‘YES.”


We have often heard that the opposite is true. Many current self-help gurus claim, ‘If you want to succeed you must take advantage of opportunities as they come. Say ‘Yes’ when every wonderful opportunity comes your way and you will be blessed with abundance.’


The research demonstrates that this is a sure recipe for disaster.


Saying ‘Yes’ to too many things divides your focus, your potential and your power until you become a diluted version of yourself. Multitasking with small or big tasks never works.


A recent study of office workers found that the average office worker switches tasks on average every three minutes and takes nearly half an hour to get back into the groove with the original task once interrupted.1. The same study found that the tasks that generally interrupted the major and more significant ones were menial and insignificant in nature.


The same is true of the larger goals we face in our lives. We sacrifice what we want most for what we want now. Little things distract us from getting the big things done.


This is a function of our brain. Our brain is wired to focus more on the things of an emotional or urgent nature rather than the things which we logical know we want and should be doing. John Lennon said it this way, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”


Sometimes these distractions are not conscious decisions, they are reactions to what comes up in life. Many times they are conscious decisions where we actually make a commitment to get distracted or overextended. It is this splitting of the focus that I am referring to in the title of this post, ‘Saying YES can ruin your chances of success.’


In order to be successful we must zero-in on the most productive things we can do and say ‘no’ to distractions that keep us  from those things.


Setting up boundaries and borders can help us keep a clear vision on what we really want. In the film “How Thoughts Become Things” we talk about Strategic Cognitive Creation in building our vision of the future.2 The word Strategic is highly important as it is this word that most people are missing in their goal setting and life planning.

Strategic suggests that the plan is formulated with a calculated view of the future. Often we do not strategically build our future. We build short term goals or projects to satisfy more immediate needs, but we plan no further. Decisions of this nature do not create a victorious destiny.


When we have a strategic game plan of what we want our future to be, we automatically begin to recognize the things that do not fit. People without a plan say Yes to whatever comes along.


This matter of boundaries is highly important not only in the achievement of accomplishing our goals of what we want to have in our lives, but it is essential in accomplishing our goals of what we want to be in our lives. Character is formed more by what we choose we will not to do, than the things we will permit. Permitting things to take over our lives is easy, it requires courage to say NO.


Too often our character is eroded by the subtle daily distractions that keep us from what we know we should be doing. Or worse, sometimes we permit ourselves to do the things that we know are beneath our best self because for the instant doing the wrong thing gets a quick result.


Even the smallest detours can keep us from the traveling the best roads in our lives.


When we are careful about what we commit to, what we align ourselves with and what we choose to do we will have the freedom to make better choices in the future. One of the significant challenges for those who say YES too often is that they become so burdened by the trivial that they lose the opportunity to make future choices.


Retaining our ability and freedom to choose is at the heart of all successes.


When we choose wisely the landscape of our lives we will eventually find ourselves at the destinations which are of highest worth.


Douglas Vermeeren is the director of the SUCCEED Research Center which is dedicated to sharing research on the systems that top achievers use to create lasting success. Over the last decade Vermeeren has interviewed more than 400 of the world’s top achievers, including business leaders, celebrities and professional or Olympic athletes. Douglas Vermeeren is the author of Guerrilla Achiever (With Jay Levinson) and the creator of The Opus (with Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Dr. Joe Vitale, Dr. John Demartini, Dr. Sue Morter, Marci Shimoff, Bill Bartmann, Bob Doyle and Morris Goodman.) Currently Doug is completing another film entitled, How Thoughts Become Things. This film will explore the process of how our thoughts become manifest in our lives as reality.  For more on this film go to: For more on Douglas Vermeeren go to: Douglas Vermeeren can be reached for speaking engagements and training at 1.877.393.9496.

1.The Winner’s Brain p.88

2.How Thoughts Become Things (


Written by douglasvermeeren

December 18, 2010 at 7:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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