The Wobbliness of Maybe

Quote of the Week

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes¦ but no plans.” Peter Drucker

The Wobbliness of Maybe

By Michael Neill

I was speaking with my new coach, Steve Hardison when he pointed out that one of the reasons I was finding myself a bit overwhelmed (besides the UK book tour, writing deadlines, training schedule and family commitments, which had seemed to me to be the source of the problem) was that I had a lot of “maybe” in my life. Having explored that notion for the past week or so, here’s what I’ve come to:

· A solid “no” creates space in your life.
· A solid “yes” provides the foundation for creation.
· There is no such thing as a solid “maybe”.

When I tell a person, a project or even myself “no” (and mean it), that possibility is now gone from my day planner and gone from my mind. What is there in its place is space – the glorious, open space that makes up the blank canvas of a consciously created life.

When I tell a person, a project or even myself “yes” (and mean it), I have created a platform from which to create – a place to stand that will enable me to reach higher and go further than I could have done before. Once I’ve said “yes”, the language of my mind changes from “if” to “when” and from “why?” to “how?”

When I tell a person, a project or even myself “maybe” (usually in the disguise of a wobbly “yes” or “no”), nothing much happens on the outside. But on the inside, the white space in my planner turns grey and the pictures in my mind flick back and forth between possibilities in a redundant and repetitive pattern. Because I have created nothing solid in my mind, it is extremely difficult to create anything solid out in the world.

What has been most intriguing so far in my explorations is contemplating what it might be like to live in a world without “maybe” – that is, a world where the answer to any request was either “yes” or “no”, and the freedom to revise and revisit each request was always present. That contemplation is the source of today’s experiment¦

Today’s Experiment:

1. Divide a piece of paper into three columns. In the left hand column, make a list of a few things that are “no-brainer yes’s” in your life.


· Being there for your family
· Showing up at work
· Brushing your teeth

2. In the right hand column, make a list of some “no- brainer no’s”.


· Giving away all your money to a cause you oppose
· Selling your children
· Eating cake until you vomit

3. Use the central column to make a list of your “maybe’s” – those things you haven’t yet decided for sure whether or not you’re going to do them.


· Going on a training or an exotic holiday
· Changing jobs or partners
· Committing to a new exercise routine or weight loss goal

4. Now, clean up the “maybe” list – move everything in it into the space of “yes” or the space of “no”.

Remember, some of those “yes” and “no” answers may just be for now, not for life – but by holding them in the space of a solid “yes” or “no”, you might just find yourself with more clarity, more time, and more freedom than you’ve felt in a long time.

Copyright (c) 2009 Michael Neill, author of ˜You Can Have What Your Want’. All rights reserved – read more tips at

Coaching Call to Action

I just did Michael’s experiment and 2 out of 3 items got moved from my “maybe” to my “yes” list. He’s right. Doing this process does give you the energy to focus on the items you are choosing. For me it stopped that constant back in forth in my head, “Should I, shouldn’t I, should I, shouldn’t I?”.

By making the decision for now and letting go of the chatter – it was uplifting. What will you move out of your maybe column this week?