The Power of No

No: How This Tiny Word can Change Your Life

I just finished reading James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher’s book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness and wanted to share some of the nuggets I’ve extracted, starting with a list of things they recommend saying no to. In contrast, I’ve added the things that become available and we can say yes to once we’ve said no.

Say no to these things

Things that will hurt you.





People who drain your energy.


Anything that gets in the way of your creative force and keeps it from bringing you a life of abundance.


People's stories and beliefs that do not serve your own evolution.


Having to make rushed decisions when you are uncertain.


Having to wear a mask in order for others to like you   


Any fear-driven complexes and emotions (scarcity, inferiority, superiority etc).



Noise, bad news, pressures, responsibilities



Limiting beliefs, negative self-talk self-imposed rules that no longer serve you.


Anxieties about the future or the past.

Gain access to these instead

Honour what's in your own best interest. Don’t say yes to things you don’t want. You'll hate what you’re doing and resent the person who asked you. Be honest and authentic about your own desires.


Surround yourself with inspiring people who appreciate you and bring out the best in you.


You have a unique gift and deserve abundance, wealth and appreciation for your work.


Live the life you want and not the life others believe you should be living. 


Take your time, weigh the pros and cons, don't lose sight of your own desires and needs and stay true to your dreams. 


Honesty is a beacon and shines the path toward health, love and money. Be authentic, shine!


Notice any negative thoughts and emotions briefly and contrast them to how you do want to feel and focus on that instead. 


Sit in silence and be reflective and still. Take breaks and vacations. Spend time in your own council and know that you are enough.


Be the master of your own mind and direct your positive thoughts to the desires you have.


Say no to what isn’t happening right now. Stay in the present moment and do what you can now

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.
— Dalai Lama XIV

Saying no can take courage, yet the reward is often far greater than the risk of saying yes to things we don’t want, even when fear would want us to believe the opposite. When we say no to one thing, we say yes to something else or make room for something better -- to something we really desire.

Being clear on what we don’t want is a helpful first step to looking at what we do want. Knowing what we do want helps us pursue our desires with greater persistence and confidence.

Author, and fellow coach colleague, Michael Losier, designed a helpful tool called the clarity through contrast list in his book The Law of Attraction. Here’s a short YouTube video where he explains how to use it.  

Next time you feel stuck and unsure of what you want, try starting with a list of what you don't want -- all the things you want to say no to -- and use that as a tool to discover your yeses!