Everyone has heard some variation of the story. An enterprising individual has an idea, something they feel will change some facet of life. All they need is the right people or person to see it or hear about it and gain some backing, some momentum.
   The story of Colonel Saunders is well known, how he approached fried chicken shops with his chicken recipe and was turned away over one thousand times before receiving a ‘yes’. Positive life coaches talk about not giving up, as the next opportunity may be the one you were waiting for. Perseverance is a lauded, recognised and an encouraged trait for a would be go getter. No is never no. It is just the first refusal; it’s a test! Do you want it or will you be easily deterred? Rousing stuff.
  Like religious text, people have a way of interpreting things in a way that benefits their thinking. The notion of ‘no’ being the starting point of a discussion, as opposed to the conclusion, is very much a generational, liberal thinking, modern phenomena.
  Anyone who works in an environment where they are required to deal with the request of others, will understand this. The present generation have a real problem with the word ‘no’.
  Whether it is something quite important, like trying to gain a place for their child in the best schools, or fill a necessary prescription or something less so; getting a table at a hip restaurant on a Saturday evening or tickets for that unmissable thing, the response in the negative will, for those entitled souls, begin a battle of attrition.
  The variety of non important things, objects, request is endless. There is just a belief that if one shouts loud enough and long enough – basically the equivalent of a small child throwing a tantrum – you’ll get what you want. This tends to actually work because most want to avoid embarrassment or confrontation. It is bullying.
  It is nice and can be fulfilling to get what one wants. But always getting your way is only possible for those blessed few. The rest of us just have to accept that sometimes no means no.

The Never List (Ain’t Nobody Got Time Fo Dat!)

There are things in life that people do or achieve that I just don’t get. These things are considered milestones, or cathartic. Achievements too talk about at work or in social situations, the kind of thing that people feel they should be interested in or, at the very least, impressed by.
The most notable thing is, most of the achievements take a long time, anything from several hours to several weeks. They also tend to be uncomfortable. Case in point:

1.) The marathon
My day job for most of the last two decades has been fitness related. I was an aerobic instructor for a bit, but quickly realised that I only really liked teaching kickboxing as a class. I also started personal training. Anyone who does fitness for a living has encountered the question; have you ever run the marathon? Now many a young buck or buckess, who has become a trainer after finding the rat race pays well but is really, really competitive. So they are overly enthusiastic when it comes to fitness. They feel they have to prove their fitness credentials, not only on paper but in deed as well. They will generally do some sort of extreme fitness thing; triathlon, snowboarding, run a marathon!
I like running. Love it in fact. Feels great, it is cheap and you can do it anytime. I’ll run for half an hour, forty minutes at a push. I am not going to run for four plus hours! No. Not when I really don’t have to. I like to race as much as the next man. Sprints? I am your man. Over quickly, taxing without destroying my knees. A marathon, twenty-six point two miles, is hard on the knees, back, feet and unless you are among the elite Ethiopians, soul destroying. You’re not going to win. No hope. You might place, I don’t know, twelve thousand, four hundred and thirteenth? But all you got is a great time, along with your battered vertebrae, feet and knees. No thank you.

2.) Climb A Mountain
Hell no. I do not even enjoy walking up hill! The amount of people that try to scale Everest on an annual basis is astounding. It’s a big rock! Why do people get so excited by the thought of climbing – conquering – a rock? And whilst I mention it, because it is in same vein, why do people feel the need to go to the Poles? They are whiteouts. Nothing to see here. Just ice and penguins. And they’re only at one of the Poles!
If you’re an explorer – not a job, but if you can persuade some sap to pay you to do it, more power to you – I accept that you have to undertake certain ventures. For the rest of us, I think I’ll just catch the highlights on television.

3.) Sailing
When I say sailing, I am not talking about a leisurely punt around the bay. No, I’m talking the full on man-against-the-elements, calloused hands, sleep in a hammock, water all around but not a drop to drink, land ahoy kind of sailing. The kind that only people who have never had to work embark on. Sailing is expensive and, if you traversing oceans, time consuming. I think that it appeals to the romantic in people; out on the high seas, one with the world. And the not working of course. For me, I can think of very little, not already mentioned, that would be worse. I get sea sick on a ferry, I am not going to survive for weeks on end in a boat! It’s out for me.

4.) Triathlon
Think marathon and then add swimming, me with my brick like aerodynamics in water, and cycling. I hate cycling. So you swim for a long time. Then cycle for a long time. And then run. For a long time. No. Several levels of hell all packed together. Not only that, it is a sport of posturing. Expensive… Everything! Bikes, wet suits, trainers, training. Speaking of training, triathlon takes over your life. If you embark on any distance longer than a sprint, you are going to spend every spare minute training for it. If, like most people, you pay to enter an event, you are not going to win. People who win triathlons get paid, They do not pay. You’re just participating, making up numbers. Have fun.