Some people really do need to learn to say No.
Many of us seem to say Yes to too much, too easily.
The advice that it’s got to be either “Hell, yes! or No“, though?
That’s a bunch of bs.
Most things you’ll need to do in life are never going to be more than Meh, but they’ve still got to get done.
YOU will still need to do them.
So, sure, if you are overburdened with responsibilities and projects, learn to say yes to those you can really commit to and no to the rest.
Or actually, for the really important projects, try to make them be outstandingly important ones.
As David Brooks wrote in a column on “The Art of Focus,” quoted by Cal Newport in “Deep Work”,
“If you want to win the war for attention, don’t try to say ‘no’ to the trivial distractions you find on the information smorgasbord; try to say ‘yes’ to the subject that arouses a terrifying longing, and let the terrifying longing crowd out everything else.”
Don’t think everything has to excite you (or be a no), though.
Who knows what trivial necessity you’d avoid for too long and what chance you might miss if you did that.
If family and kids aren’t a Yes – even as they tend not to be a Hell, yes! – you’ve not understood something about life.
If you only ever say Hell, yes to the things that you already know excite you, how will you discover what else awaits?
Say Meh, I dunno.
And anyways, get done what needs doing, try out what you get a chance to.