The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness (book review)By
I was looking at my calendar the other day. I saw more black ink, a measure of all the appointments I had, than the calendar’s white background. “Am I over committing myself?” I wondered. Then James Altucher’s and Claudia Azula Altucher’s book came along – The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness. “This book is for me!” I thought.
I liked the Altuchers conversational style in The Power of No. Full of examples from their own lives, it’s an easy read. “The Power of No has helped us, the authors, literally survive,” they write in the first few pages. “With it, we have freed ourselves from the society, institutions, friends, loves, colleagues, bosses, and belief systems that have tried to build a cage around us. Those that have tried and still try to control us.” Through their stories we learn how the Altuchers evolved to use more “no’s” in their lives, and that encourages the reader to use this potent little word more, too.
Each chapter has an exercise where the reader can apply the principles the authors teach. One that I found effective was WHO IS YOUR INNER CIRCLE? “List all of the primary people in your life: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. Anyone you engage with more than five times a week,” the Altuchers write. “Rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how you feel after your interactions with that person, 10 being the best. Anyone lower than an 8, begin to pull back from. Lower than a 5, stay a little farther away from … This doesn’t mean being selfish and avoiding people who need your help … This is a dimmer switch, not an on-and-off switch. It is a tool for being discriminating so you can bring your brightest creativity forward.”
This exercise led me to reevaluate my relationships, and, yes, I did pull back from some. I think it’ll do the same for you. Other exercises in the book are equally powerful.
“Being clear about which relationships and which people we let into our lives is the key to access our creative force,” the authors write. As a result of reading The Power of No I’m seeing more white space in my calendar these days, as I am saying “No” to requests more often. And feeling OK about each one.
You can get The Power of No from these sources: