The Two Most Powerful Words in Your Vocabulary

Zig Ziglar, Happiness, Quote, Grateful
Photo by BK. Creative Commons License.

I believe the two most powerful words in your vocabulary are ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

Those two words are gates in your life with the potential to invite in blessings or curses; to step toward opportunity or to close the door toward it; to leap toward change or maintain the mundane.

But if you’re like me, then whenever you make a decision, you struggle to live with the consequences of it. It’s hard to say ‘no’ to one thing and not think about what could have been had you said ‘yes’ to it. Similarly, sometimes you say ‘yes’ to one thing, and soon after, you wish you had said ‘no!’

Or am I the only one?

Perhaps you said ’no’ to a job offer, a date, a move to a new city, or a big purchase. Maybe you said ‘yes’ to the girl, to your mom, to going back to school, to the new job, or something similar.

And whether you said ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ maybe you’re sitting there frustrated with your decision! What can you do to snap out of it?

A Simple 3-Step Strategy for Finding Contentment in Everything

When I get this way I have a simple strategy for snapping myself back to reality. It takes less than three minutes, costs me zero dollars, and I want to share it with you:

1. Write down five (5) things presently in your life that make you happy. Actually write these down on pen and paper! These can be relationships, experiences, pets, things, etc. Whatever it is that makes you happy.

2. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take 10 slow, deep breaths and pay attention to the air filling your lungs.

3. As you’re breathing, start expressing gratitude for those five things that make you happy. You can quietly think it or speak your gratitude out loud. The point is to be intentional in focusing on those things.

Why this works

I do this because it causes me to pause and reflect on what’s right in front of me, on everything that’s already right in my life. It removes the anxiety, regret, and/or discontent I might feel with the decisions I made.

I’ve mentioned before about how I have an obsession with the future. Guess what? It’s still a problem of mine, but this helps with that too. And you can read why I think you should break up with the future here.

What about you? What do you do whenever you become discontent with your present circumstances? What do you to find peace with your decisions? Sound off in the comments. I’d love some new ideas.



About Matthew Snyder

Matt is a thirty-something writer and young adult minister. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Merridith, and their dog, Finn.


  1. YES. For me, so much of this revolves around comparison. Seeing other people’s success and happiness makes me question choices I’ve made that brought me to the (challenging) place I’m in. I have to remind myself to think like Phil 4:8 — the “whatever is true … think about these things” verse. Your method sounds like a very intentional way to think about what is actually true and lovely and excellent about your life. It’s amazing how much distress we can work ourselves up into thinking about things that aren’t even true!

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