Learn to say No!
of the most important skills we can learn that will help us manage
and fulfill our priorities is to say "No." Once we get there, it
becomes easier and easier, but initially it can be extremely awkward
and unpopular with others. Knowing the stages we’ll go through can
help us realize that what’s happening is natural and that its not
just that we can’t seem to do it.
Stage 1: Identifying Opportunities
In this initial stage we have identified our need to
learn to say "No" and have made it a goal. What happens is that we
start to identify opportunities that have already past where we
could have and should have said "No." We may easily be able to
relate to this stage. Most of us at one time or another have said to
ourselves or someone else "I never should have agreed to do this."
It’s that regretful feeling that we didn’t take the chance when we
had it. This is an important stage in the process, though, since it
instills within us the negative experiences that can result from not
having said "No." When enough of those build up, we move on to the
Stage 2: Backing Up
This next stage of learning and practicing saying
"No" is the most difficult. What actually happens is that we
continue to say "Yes," but decide later that we really should have
said "No." We get up the courage to make it right, go back to the
other person and tell them we’ve changed our mind. We may feel
uncertain, uncomfortable, embarrassed, unsure of ourselves, and not
fully believe that what we’re trying to do is the right thing.
Responses from others who let us know that we’ve let them down,
we’re going back on your promise, or what will they do now certainly
contribute to the discomfort we feel within this stage. We also,
however, begin feeling intense moments of relief, self-confidence,
and pride in ourselves. This is a stage where we seem to need the
most reassurance that we’re on the right track. Bear with it,
because it will be well worth it! When these positive experiences
begin to have more impact than the discomfort, we move on to the
3: Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time
Within this stage, we have arrived at a place where
we are able to say no at the right time: immediately. Again, this
stage can be somewhat uncomfortable, but much of the discomfort,
fear, and lack of confidence from the last stage has minimized
dramatically. Because we are human beings who have feelings, we may
never completely be rid of some sense of guilt or discomfort, but it
will continue to have less and less of an impact on us.
No matter what
stage you are in or if you’ve just decided to start
to say "No," use this information to reassure yourself that you’re
not alone, you’re not crazy, and you’re not a bad person because you
say "No" to someone. None of us are any good to anyone else unless
we do what is right for us first.
physicist Albert Einstein contributed more than any other scientist
to the 20th-century vision of physical reality. In the wake of World
War I, Einstein's theories, especially his theory of relativity,
seemed to many people to point to a pure quality of human thought,
one far removed from the war and its aftermath. Seldom has a
scientist received such public attention for having cultivated the
fruit of pure learning.
Born in Ulm in Germany on March 14, 1879, Einstein’s parents were
nonobservant Jews who moved from Ulm to Munich when Einstein was an
infant. The family moved yet again to Milan in Italy in 1894, when
the family business of manufacturing electrical apparatus failed.
At this time Einstein decided officially to relinquish his German
citizenship. Within a year, still without having completed secondary
school, Einstein failed an examination that would have allowed him
to pursue a course of study leading to a diploma as an electrical
engineer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (the Zurich
Polytechnic). He spent the next year in nearby Aarau at the cantonal
secondary school, where he enjoyed excellent teachers and first-rate
facilities in physics. Einstein returned in 1896 to the Zurich
Polytechnic, where he graduated (1900) as a secondary school teacher
of mathematics and physics.
a lean two years he obtained a post at the Swiss patent office in
Bern. The patent-office work required Einstein's careful attention,
but while employed (1902-09) there, he completed an astonishing
range of publications in theoretical physics. For the most part
these texts were written in his spare time and without the benefit
of close contact with either scientific literature or theoretician
colleagues. Einstein submitted one of his scientific papers to the
University of Zurich to obtain a Ph.D. degree in 1905. In 1908 he
sent a second paper to the University of Bern and became a lecturer
there. The next year Einstein received a regular appointment as
associate professor of physics at the University of Zurich.
By 1909, Einstein was recognized throughout German-speaking Europe
as a leading scientific thinker. In quick succession he held
professorships at the German University of Prague and at the Zurich
Polytechnic. In 1914 he advanced to the most prestigious and
best-paying post that a theoretical physicist could hold in central
Europe: professor at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft in Berlin.
Although Einstein held a cross-appointment at the University of
Berlin, from this time on he never again taught regular university
courses. Einstein remained on the staff at Berlin until 1933, from
which time until his death (in 1955) he held an analogous research
position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.
Einstein’s special theory of relativity assumed that light travelled
through space in the form of photons. He also asserted that the
speed of light in a vacuum is invariant, and is independent of the
speed of its source. His equations showed that mass increases with
velocity, and that time is foreshortened by velocity.
Until the end of his life Einstein sought a unified field theory,
whereby the phenomena of gravitation and electromagnetism could be
derived from one set of equations. After 1920, however, while
retaining relativity as a fundamental concept, theoretical
physicists focused more attention on the theory of quantum mechanics
- as elaborated by Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and
others - and Einstein's later thoughts went somewhat neglected for
decades. This picture has changed in more recent years. Physicists
are now striving to combine Einstein's relativity theory with
quantum theory in a "theory of everything," by means of such highly
advanced mathematical models as superstring theories.