The Power of NO
“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”- Psalm 141:3 (NIV)
Our world is changing at a rapid pace, and what we have deemed valuable has taken different forms. We love free things, free perks or free apps that allow us to connect with others easily. We love the free filters that allow us to change our looks in an effort to receive admiration from strangers. We love it because its fun, and its free! Or is it?
Your wants, preferences, and desires are more valuable today than the currency of money itself. Artist/philanthropist Will.i.am said in an interview that the most valuable thing in the world is not money; instead, it is data. The dictionary defines data as “facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.” In our new age of living I define data as insight into the mind, emotions, and preferences. Data gives the answers on how to best serve you or use you. My father taught me that dating was an exercise of collecting data, and I always took that to heart. After a certain period of my data collection, I can decide if that person, job, hobby or opportunity is a yes or no for me. Data is your social media status, the pictures you post, or even your thumbs up or thumbs down. Even if you do not portray your true self on social media, you portray what you want to be or what you want people to know, and that information is valuable as well.
“A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.”- Proverbs 18:7 (NIV)
Historically, dominant companies spent a large amount of money on a specific expense called Research & Development (R&D). In this new age of technology the process of retrieving Research & Development has transformed greatly because it is so much easier to understand what you desire, need, or prefer. I too admire the power of technology and social media and I find it valuable to the user, but we often throw caution to the wind with the data we share online.
“The Prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.” Proverbs 12:23(NIV)
Your data: the insights of you are worth more than gold, literally. So while you say yes to giving your data away for free, remember you can always say no. While in my career I have had the opportunity to experience interactions with recruiters. They would ask my current salary and in my ignorance I would tell them. It wasn’t until recently I discovered by asking that question the recruiter was using an illegal tactic. They should have asked my desired salary, not my current salary, but that piece of data created leverage for them. I even had someone ask me the same question a second or third time a few minutes after I already said no, as though repetition of the question would change my answer. I had to get comfortable with reserving some of my data to myself, or my inner circle. I once told a group of people “no” simultaneously and they were shocked beyond belief as though I just cursed them down to the ground. This is because “no” was not a part of my vocabulary in my effort to please others and make everyone happy, at my own expense.
The Holy Spirit reminded me that “no” is an acceptable answer, or in professional language, “I choose not to disclose that”. There is significant power in “No”. Although it may seem harsh, it is still very much an option as the word yes. While I am still open to every opportunity, I always remember that no, is a complete sentence, and also an acceptable one. I choose to employ Wisdom.
“Wisdom is more precious than rubies, nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 3:15 (NLT)
From my Heart to Yours,