Oftentimes, “maybe” is employed in an effort to be nice. You want to help someone. You’re dedicated to supporting someone as they learn and grow, and so you go along when they ask for more than you originally signed up for. “Can you get me a job?” “Maybe.” “Can you introduce me to some big player you used to work with?” “Maybe.” “Will you take this meeting with my wife’s friend’s boyfriend?” “Maybe.”
But “maybe” can lead you in the wrong direction. It can lead you away from what you want to do and what’s really important in the bigger scheme of things. Not only is it suboptimal for you, but even more often, it’s suboptimal for many of the people you loop into the process.
Listen to the “maybes” you say aloud or in your head. Don’t ever let that lead you to a “yes” you don’t mean. “Maybe” is your instinct telling you that you don’t want to do something, or you’re not enthusiastic because you don’t yet have enough information. Figure out which one it is, and proceed accordingly. “Maybe” isn’t good enough for things that really matter.