I worked for a man who used to say to me, “Now we will know how good you really are” whenever I was faced with a challenge. 2012 was a challenging year, and in many ways I am still reeling from that change. Few things bear any resemblance to this time last year. Yet in the furnace of change is where iron becomes strong and glass becomes a thing of beauty.

Pushed to my limits, I am learning to go where I only dreamed and that there are another two magic words besides please and thank you. They are “yes” and “no.” Almost like teaching your children not to share…that’s a whole other story, and the use of them as an adult moving through significant change on a journey toward big goals, is somewhat counter intuitive.

The greatest impact of these words is not achieved when I say them to others, but when I use them for myself. As much as I have worked on boundaries…read all the books (and Cloud and Townsend have a whole series now,) life in 2013 is a PhD course.

As I learn to more judiciously apply these words, the path becomes clearer – more focused – less crowded by distractions. It also allows me to walk in grace for myself, giving to myself more generously of what I may have often reserved more for others. “Yes”, may mean resting when I am tired, while a “no” could be to something good. I can actually have too much of a good thing for my own best interests.