I just returned from a wonderful writing conference where bestselling author, Dian Thomas, and another well-published friend, Carolyn Campbell, conducted a workshop. Their motivational theme was, "'No' Only Means 'Next.'" Their premise was that if you receive a rejection for a manuscript, you don't spend time feeling discouraged or sorry for yourself, you just send it off to the next place.
I love this positive attitude and I think it applies to all of life. Sometimes our dreams and goals are not possible to fulfill, so rather than being discouraged, we just go on to the next dream or goal we have.
Sometimes the 'No' comes from outside us, like a rejected manuscript. But other times it comes from within us as we set our priorities.
A dear friend has a goal to finish a manuscript about historic Spain. But life has gotten in her way. Her husband has a pressing project that he needs her help with. She has chosen to work with him right now, putting a 'No' on her writing project for now. She told me, "Sometimes I just ache inside to write my story. My characters keep calling to me, and it's hard to put them off."
I have a goal to give service to my church, but right now my mother is ill with cancer, and I have chosen to spend these last days with her. What a blessing this is in my life. My service goal is not forgotten, and some days I long to fill it, but my time right now belongs to my mother.
As parents, we have all put a 'No' on some of our own goals to enjoy our children while they are young.
When you bump up against the 'No's in your life, don't let them discourage you. Look for the 'Next's. They will always appear and bless your life with the gifts you need right now.