Life is full of choices. From the very basic questions of what time should I set my alarm, what should I wear, and how much effort will I put into work, to the more difficult questions of where do I want to live, do I want to perform that community service work I was asked about, and should I marry this person. Who we are and who we become is based on the choices we make.
Every time you say “yes” to a decision or opportunity, you are saying “no” to something else. Every time. In the simple question about what you should wear, you are either saying “yes” to looking your best and leaving the right impression of yourself or “no” to appropriate appearance and that you don’t care what impression you leave others with. But there are more complicated decisions. Consider these choices: repetitively saying “yes” to coming in late, leaving early, taking excessive time at lunch, and/or frequent absences is saying “no” to promotion opportunities, respect from your supervisor and coworkers, and pride in yourself. These are all personal choices. You may say they are out of your control, but are they really? Consider balancing your time differently to put your full attention where it deserves, when it deserves it.
When I said I would get involved with SHRM locally and at the state level, I was saying “no” to some of my free personal time as well as work time. Was that the right choice? It was for me, and I believe I’m better for it, but it all depends on each person’s individual situation. My children love to talk about what I do and get involved in. I personally get great satisfaction and fulfillment out of community involvement and career enrichment opportunities such as these. My family is very supportive and the time I have with them is precious. There are other opportunities I have said “no” to because it stretches my time too thin with them.
By saying “yes” to this opportunity, I was also saying yes to meeting new friends, helping others in my chosen field, making valuable contacts and personal enrichment. I was saying “no” to keeping myself to myself and not getting involved.
Life is too short. Live it to its fullest every day and enjoy what you have now. I too often read about people who regret not doing what they would have enjoyed while they were still mentally or physically able. Same goes for not getting involved with groups like SHRM. We make time for what’s important to us and reap the rewards or pay the price of those decisions the rest of our lives.
Saying “yes” to being timely, working hard, always being positive, getting involved in career focused organizations and charitable activities, and continuing your personal growth can lead to great opportunities. You’re saying “no” to the people who are holding you hostage and keeping you down. You’re telling yourself that you are in control of your destiny and you’re steering the best course possible.
I’ve heard people say that they just don’t have time to get involved with their local chapter of SHRM. I see it as so many opportunities for self-enrichment and I’m thankful for them. Once you get involved you learn how to balance work, family and community. All three are so important and they contribute to who you are and who you want to be.
Who do you want to be?
Susan Simmons, KYSHRM Chair, SPHR
First Federal Savings Bank
Executive Vice President