2 min read

From Overwhelmed to Focused: The Hell Yeah Decision-Making Strategy

From Overwhelmed to Focused: The Hell Yeah Decision-Making Strategy
Photo by British Library / Unsplash

I saw Trent Shelton speak last weekend at the Money Is Masterclass, and he said something that resonated:

Protect your energy from the things that drain it.
Protect your mind from the things that distract you.
Protect your soul from the things that don't fulfill you.

I fucking love that.

In a world where the buffet of life's options sprawls endlessly, cluttered with "good" ideas and "okay" endeavors, the real reason we're not as successful as we want to be isn't for lack of innovation; it's our crippling inability to say no. We're serial yes-men and women, overloading our plates until the buffet table of our lives resembles the aftermath of a seagull attack.

But what if we embraced a simpler creed?

What if you got rid of the word yes and opted for either:


Or no.

Imagine a life where every "yes" is a fist pump, an all-in leap, not just a half-hearted shrug. If it doesn’t spark that "Hell yeah!" feeling, then it's a hard no. This isn't about becoming a naysayer but about becoming a yes-sayer to the things that truly matter. Every party invite, every new project proposal—if it doesn't make you want to shout from the rooftops, then why bother?

We've all been there, drowning in commitments, feeling like we're juggling flaming chainsaws while riding a unicycle on a tightrope. It's exhausting.

But here's the kicker: when you start saying no, you might just find people respect you more for it.

And let's not forget that saying no is an art. Steve Jobs whittled Apple's product line from a sprawling 350 to a sleek 10. That's 340 nos. Each "no" is a carefully placed brick in the fortress, protecting your time, your energy, and your essence.

Steve Jobs wasn't just trimming the fat at Apple; he was crafting its destiny. This isn't about turning into some hermit with a chip on your shoulder. It's about guarding your time like it's your last line of defense against mediocrity. It's about reclaiming those hours to make waves in the stuff that lights your fire.

Hang a big old sign in your office as a reminder.

Yet, here's the rub: say no too much, and the invites stop coming.

The projects dry up. Suddenly, you're not the go-to guy or gal. You're out of the loop, building bridges back to relevance. It's a delicate balance, choosing when to open the gates and when to reinforce the walls.

But that's the trade-off for reclaiming your life, for making room to plunge headlong into the pursuits that make you scream "HELL YEAH!"

Next time an invite lands in your lap, with all its future promises and potential headaches, ask yourself one thing:

If this gig was going down tomorrow, would you still be in? Chances are, not a lot makes the cut when the spotlight's on tomorrow. That's the immediacy filter for you—brutal, but oh so clarifying.

H/T to Derek Sivers for inspiring this one.