NO       4'?m2f Discipleship, productivity: Say NO more often

AMY -- (a well-dressed business executive, enters carrying
briefcase, begins crossing purposefully)

LIZ -- (a reporter, follows carrying a micro tape recorder)
Excuse me, Ms Masterson? Ms Masterson?

AMY -- (stops, turns) Yes?

LIZ -- May I have a moment of your time?

AMY -- It depends on what this is about.

LIZ -- I'm a reporter for the...

AMY -- (turns, resumes crossing) Call my secretary and make an

LIZ -- (runs into Amy's path) But I did that. She gave me the

AMY -- She wasn't able to help you at all?

LIZ -- She sent me a press kit.

AMY -- (tries to get by) Good. That should answer your

LIZ -- (steps into Amy's path) But, it didn't. There's nothing
in your press kit that my readers don't already know.

AMY -- What more do you want to know?

LIZ -- (holds recorder near own mouth) I need to know your
secret to success. (holds recorder toward Amy)

AMY -- NO. (steps by Liz tries to continue)

LIZ -- (steps into Amy's path) What kind of an answer is that? I
didn't ask you a yes or no question.

AMY -- You asked me the secret to my success. That's my secret.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I... (tries to get by)

LIZ -- (steps into Amy's path) I'm sorry, but NO doesn't sound 
like a secret as much as it sounds like a brush off. Could you 
just clarify your answer for me?

AMY -- Your very persistent, aren't you?

LIZ -- I'm sorry. I don't mean to be a pest. But, I'm asking as
much for myself as for my readers. I'm just a person who wants
to be a success asking a very successful person how she achieved
success. Please?

AMY -- Oh, very well. But I don't have much time. Do you have a
specific question?

LIZ -- (speaks into recorder) Let's start with the word NO. You
said it was your secret to success. (holds recorder toward Amy)

AMY -- Yes. I think you'll find that most successful people are
those who've mastered the art of saying NO to the things that
don't get them to their goal.

LIZ -- (speaks into recorder) What kinds of things are you
talking about.... besides speaking to reporters? (holds recorder
toward Amy)

AMY -- Life is a series of decisions, kind of like encountering
a series of forks in the road. Some of the roads encountered in
life are dead ends. They lead absolutely nowhere. These are 
rather obvious, such things as immorality and addictions which 
can hold a person in a deadend for years.

LIZ -- (speaks into recorder) But most roads are NOT dead ends.
They lead somewhere. (holds recorder toward Amy)

AMY -- Yes, and that's why it's more difficult to say no to 
them. It's easy to go with the flow of traffic, even if the road 
takes a person in the opposite direction from where he's going. 
These include roads like watching television merely because it's 
turned on or seeing a movie merely because everybody's talking 
about it, or having to buy every new video game that comes out 
or saying yes to every invitation. Saying NO goes against the 
flow of traffic.

LIZ -- Yes, but I say NO to some of those things and I'm not a

AMY -- Then, you may be paying too much attention to the road
and too little attention to where the road will take you.

LIZ -- What do you mean?

AMY -- It's difficult to say no to a road when there are flowers 
along the roadside or when the road has fewer hills to climb. 
But a successful person will choose a road because it is the 
most direct route to where he wants to go, even if the way is 
not very attractive or requires more effort.

LIZ -- (speaks into recorder) So, a successful person is one who
says NO to comfort and attractiveness? (holds recorder toward 

AMY -- Comfort and attractiveness are not bad in themselves. But
if they're the only criteria for choosing your route, you've
taken your eye off of your destination. (looks at watch) And
speaking of destinations, I have to be somewhere. (steps around
Liz) So, if you'll excuse me....

LIZ -- Just one more question?

AMY -- (exiting) NO.

LIZ -- No. (turns, exiting opposite) Wow. She's really good at
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