The one thing I learned from my daughter

Actually there are quite a few more things I’ve learned in the last two years since I became a dad but this one resonates with me most these days.

It’s her ability to say “No.” with an unbearable ease.

When you grow up you gradually learn and adopt certain cultural norms and forms of conduct. One of them is courtesy. So when you’re faced with unpleasant or difficult situations you usually struggle to find the most fitting excuse trying not to hurt anybody’s feelings or even burn any bridges.

Toddlers on the other hand haven’t been infected yet with cultural norms in such extent. It’s definitely easier for them to reject anything that doesn’t suit their current needs and desires. They have a clearly established threshold about what’s OK and what’s not.

Many times adults would be much better off if they said a firm “No.” instead of a lenient “Yeah … ok, man.”

I strongly believe that one of the main goals adults should pursue is the ability to afford to say “No.” to anything above the “Fuck, no!” threshold. Let’s call that creating a “No platform”.

I’m using the word afford because a No in fact many times burns bridges because of hurt feelings and ego. But establishing a “No platform” can save you a lot of time, stress and even money. Let it be in private or professional life.

You’re not going to let that condescending client / “friend” / coworker / boss / … mess with, are you?

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