It's time we kicked “should” to the curb. Should is a word that implies obligation and expectation and often comes as a box set that’s gift-wrapped in guilt and even shame. It’s also a word that implies an open-endedness and the absence of a decision. It describes possibility rather than reality. “I should go to the gym” is not the same as “I’m going to the gym.” “I’m going to the gym” is definitive. You’ve got a plan and you’re executing that plan. There’s no feeling involved, it’s simply a commitment.
“Shoulding” ourselves is a major energy drain, as it compels us to split focus. We’re forcing our minds to be in two places at once. We’re never truly in the moment if we allow thoughts of should to be telling us a story of another choice that might have been made.
“Should” creates a divide between what you’re expected to do and what you want to do. If you are saying the word should, but really mean something different, you are penalizing yourself—which over time will deplete you.
- Do you think pinpointing the “shoulds” will help you be happier/more present?
- What “should” you do that makes you feel guilty?