Saying “No”.

Sergey Leshchenko
4 min readOct 25, 2022

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” — a phrase I had lived by for almost a decade.

Saying ‘NO’ — is a superpower.

After hearing this Oscar Wilde’s quote in my early 20th, I had never had a single doubt: life is worth living when you enjoy it to the fullest, reaping all possible hedonistic benefits it’s got to offer.

And boy did I enjoy it: the dopamine strikes would hit high either through heating on plenty of women, wins in sports or later in business. The money didn’t help — in fact, it only worsened my wellness —as described in this revelation I wrote back in 2020.

As it is pointed out by Dr. Huberman, the enjoyment we attain with no actual input on our part is by and large planting seeds of future addiction and depression.

What goes without saying is that life that is predicated on the instant and oftentimes easy-to-get hits of dopamine, collected through various forms of addiction (nicotine, sex, drugs, games, sweets, social media, junk food etc.) — is a shortcut to a graveyard.

Graphs indicating death ratio from various drugs. Each year the numbers go up by ~10%.

I’m not a righteous preacher. Don’t get me wrong.

My relationships with drugs are yet to be put to bed entirely as I still think that MDMA and a few other ‘social’ drugs can be used every once in a while within a suitable setting.

Jointly, I don’t think that one should go through the mill if his/her exercises of whatever dopamine-releasing activities are within the manageable scale.

The Manageable Scale.

People get wasted in miscellaneous ways. God forbid me even trying to name them all ;) But what I know for sure from my experience is that all of us, literally all of us, KNOW WHEN WE CROSSED THE LINE. This wake-up call may come in a form of depression, tolerance trying to get a higher dose, irritation, and again, passive aggression. When the shit hit the fan health-wise — you better not ignore it.

Believe me: I know what I am talking about and you don't want to find yourself in this deep hole.

The good news is: DOPAMINE levels ARE RECOVERABLE.

I am telling this from my experience: I was able to rewire my brain; through blood and sweat and tears reset it — and now enjoy little wins again, like I did when I was a virgin.

A beautiful book that teaches so much about getting the reward after you have put in real work is called The Essentialism — the Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

According to the book, as well as The Minimalists Movement, we only get so much satisfaction from the things that come to us easily. The lasting effect, however, is reserved by accomplishments requiring time, effort, and often sacrifices.

To live a meaningful life with purpose, we must oversee the gains of effortless dopamine hits, and focus on something that can make people around us better, while exploiting our natural best.

For this to happen: we must say NO:

  • Say NO to toxic people (even if they are your relatives);
  • say no to hot chicks (boys) and their booty calls;
  • say NO to parties and conversations that don’t grow you;
  • say NO to TV, sweets, drugs — unless you really need it and you keep them at bay.

At present, I am finishing this article and tearing up a bit since I know that I did it again: I overcame procrastination and put in work that I am capable and worthy of. What is nonetheless significant is that we are all capable of things that bring us natural, organic and most importantly — lasting effects on our body, and that is exactly what I wish to all of you guys reading this article: resistance and will to do what you do, as your reward is waiting for you somewhere down the road. And it will heal your soul much longer and much more efficiently than any form of getting high. Period.

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Sergey Leshchenko

I’m a Proud Ukrainian. I write in 2 languages. Mostly about business and personal development. I have co-founded DexDigital. Now I develop Beverly English.