Muscles are built through resistance, work and discipline. That is why many people choose not to go to the gym. Regardless of whether you go to the gym or not there is one muscle we should all strengthen.

Personally, I enjoy eating candy. Sour Patch Kids, Mike and Ikes, you name it and I’ll like it. All the grocery store clerks know this. That is why they hang candy out in front of me at every isle. I am literally looking for a tube of toothpaste and there are Sour Patch kids hanging down off the shelf!

What I know I need to do is say yes to the tooth paste and no to the candy. 

The ability to say no is the muscle we all need to strengthen. We should all learn to say no every day.

Dog Paul Jolicoeur Take Control With One Two Letter WordThis might sound negative but the reality is that if we are unable to say no we will ultimately lose control of our ability to make wise decisions. In turn, this causes us to lose the freedom to say yes to the things that really matter.

Every day we should look for the opportunity to flex the no muscle. This form of delayed gratification will give you the power to lead yourself well.

Appetites only grow when fed.

This is why you can eat a huge meal and just a few hours later feel hungry again.

Appetites can only be satisfied temporarily.

Basically, the more we get, the more we want.

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So what can we do? We have to eat!

A leader must be able to lead themselves well, have self-discipline and self-control. None of these can be developed and sustained when all we grant to our desires is a resounding yes.

And that is why it is important to grow and flex the no muscle. Here are a few places and ideas where we can flex this very important muscle:

  • Eating more food (the kind of eating that happens just because you are bored)
  • Impulse buying (yes it’s shiny and would be really fun to have, but no you don’t need it)
  • Going out every time you get an invite (it is ok to stay at home when all your friends are going out)

Delaying gratifications reminds your mind and body who is really in control. If you don’t teach them this extremely valuable lesson they will run all over you and steal the control that belongs in your hands.

Learning to say no is a discipline. It’s not always bad to eat more food, buy the new toy or sleep in. What is not alright is allowing these things to take control.

That is why learning to say no and delay the yes will help keep these desires in check.

How might you strengthen your no muscle this week?