Are You Running the Race to Nowhere? Learn to Say NO

I had a great conversation last night with one of my clients. He’s a great kid.  Smart, everyone likes and trusts him, he’s got a multitude of talents, and he’s super-responsible.  He’s a parent’s source of pride and joy, a kid’s most reliable friend, and a teacher’s dream.

So, what’s the problem?  Everyone keeps asking him to do stuff.  Lead this club.  Run this charity drive.  Propel this organization.  Oh, and can you please run the lights and sound for the talent show this week?

This kid is WAAAAY busy. And in a sense, he loves it. He loves to get things done.  He likes to be seen as the go-to-guy.  He enjoys the people he’s working with.

But he’s headed for a fall.  He’s also got extremely demanding courses.  He’s studying for the SAT. He’s writing his college application essays (all 247 of them).  And he’s trying to keep his room cleaned up.

So we talked about the virtues of saying no.  As Nancy Reagan told us, sometimes you just gotta say that little, two-letter word.  We have lots of choices of how we spend our time, and there are just way too many activities than we have time for. So we have to make some priorities.  And then we have to protect those priorities by saying “no” to those things that distract us from those priorities.

No.  It’s a little word that can be hard for some kids to say.  But say it they must.

After our conversation, my student found this wonderful little video on the subject.  I just had to share it with you.  I laughed.  I guffawed, even.  But I knew that this was a great teaching tool.  So I’m sharing it with you.


Mark Montgomery
Educational Consultant

Published by Mark Montgomery

Mark is a leading educational consultant. His experience as a professor, college administrator, and youth mentor help him guide students from around the country and around the world.

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