How many times in the course of the day do you say, “I should do this” or even “I should REALLY do that”?
Being of Irish Catholic descent, “Should-ing” is part of my DNA. So much so, in fact, that I practically had to recite “I should…” prior to my First Communion. My earliest memories include being told that “You should this or that.”
Needless to say, I am (let me correct that: I WAS) a big “Should-er”. Day-in. Day-out. I was always saying, “I should go to this. I should be here. I should go there. I should participate in that. I should send the aforementioned.” Blah. Blah. Blah.
If you can’t relate to what I just said, then GOOD FOR YOU!
A dear friend introduced me to the concept of “Should-ing” on oneself. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? Well, when you think about it, the whole concept of “Should-ing” IS gross, not to mention bad for you.
Well, please allow me to encourage you from this day forward to stop “Should-ing” on yourself!
Now, let me be clear: there are certain things in the world that are not options, e.g., death, taxes, eating, breathing (in the reverse order, of course!) and reading to your children.
I also believe that being kind is a moral imperative that is non-negotiable.
Aside from these things, however, “Should-ing” does not make for a happy life.
Think about it: do you ever really feel better after doing something you feel as though you “Should’ve” done? I can honestly say that I haven’t.
I’m still getting used to this concept. Despite how much I love the idea of not “Should-ing,” I’m finding it to be a big transition (see DNA reference above!).
So, as I am coming out of my FBC fog, instead of “Should-ing”, I make decisions because they are the right ones. For example, I recycle because it’s the right thing to do. I send a thank you note (or flowers) because it’s the right thing to do. I exercise regularly because it always makes me feel better.
It’s almost as if “Should-ing” is seeing the glass half-empty; whereas doing something because “it is the right thing to do” is seeing the glass half-full, which is the Silver Lined way to see things, if you ask me.
Everything is something you decide to do, and there is nothing you have to do.