Free Yourself From The Tyranny of ‘Should’

Well if that title isn’t some philosophical click bait I don’t know what else is. In the interest of being transparent, I didn’t come up with it but it definitely inspired me when I happened upon it. Being a regular contributor to my own blog means I have to come ready with shower thoughts to inspire me and you; but since the Manchester incident on Monday I’ve not been very contemplative, just walking through my daily routine and trying to stop the world from exhausting me.

That’s why when it got to 4pm (England time) and a thought hadn’t settled on my heart I began to panic. Panic scroll on social media that is. Maybe I should just skip the post for today and come back fresh next Tuesday? That was my thought process when I came across that magical titbit on the profile of a friend. Instantly I knew I had to bring this to you today.

So what’s so bad about ‘should?’ Well, it’s a modal of probability and not an obligation that’s what. Ok, now let me explain. A modal of probability (look at me putting my language A Level to good use) denotes that something is possible, but not certain. It means that you might go home and complete another module of your online course, or you might spend the night relaxing with Netflix. It means you could begin researching a new business opportunity, but you could also spend the time online doing nothing of consequence. It means that you may get ahead on your project work, but you may also choose to meet up with some friends instead.

Can, could, may, might, must, shall, will, would and should are the devil’s time wasters. You don’t ‘try,’ you ‘do.’ When you give yourself the option of ‘do’ or ‘do not’ and the ‘do’ is something that you know is going to challenge your comfort zone, it’s a lot easier to lean in favour of the ‘not.’ That’s why you have to change your modals from ones of probability, to that of obligation. ‘I have to make sure I get X done tonight’ sets you up for success much better than ‘I should get X done tonight.’ You see the difference right?

We are obligated to give ourselves our best chance and when we do, the probability of our success is so much higher.

I think this is a shower thought that doesn’t need to be laboured so I’ll leave it there for you to contemplate.

Until next Tuesday,

The Obligated Introvert

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