Many of us have a mental list of those things that we “should” do or perhaps a list of things that we “shouldn’t” do that we intend to stop doing at some indeterminate point in the future.
Many of us have even made repeated half-hearted attempts to do or stop doing these things, only to find ourselves losing the enthusiasm with which we began these projects and shelving them until the next time.
You know what I’m referring to: Losing those 10 (or 80) pounds that have crept onto our frames over the years; making healthier food choices a daily habit as opposed to an infrequent occurrence; butting out that cigarette and never lighting another; cutting way back on alcohol consumption from daily to occasional; waiting for the right time to go back to school and finish that degree; getting up an hour earlier and walking a few miles before heading off to work; using the stairs in the office building instead of waiting for an elevator to take you up two floors; finally wrapping up the basement project that you’ve been intending to finish since you bought the place back in ’98.
I have often wondered how big a role the “should” part of these projects has played in our lives.
When we position the word “should” at the beginning of a desired result – “I should start working out” – we place the objective in what is called the “nice to have” category.
And “nice to have” means there really is no urgency around this. “Nice to have” means that if it happens, it happens, and if it doesn’t happen, well, c’est la vie.
I have often wondered what would happen if we changed “should” to “MUST.”
Must does not mean “Nice to have.” It does not mean c’est la vie.
This is not optional.
There is no other choice.
This is the only acceptable outcome.
No detail is too small, no price is too big.
I cannot, and will not, accept anything less.
I will do whatever it needs doing this.
I cannot be dissuaded.
I am committed.
I am resolute.
Get out of my way.
Our lives are driven by consequences. A consequence is simply something that is triggered by something that occurred or did not occur earlier.
When we place what we want to accomplish in the “MUST” category we set in motion the potential for repeatedly enjoying the indescribably victorious feelings of accomplishment that are our consequences (results) or doing those things that we “Must” do.
And if we are truly committed in the extreme to realizing our “MUSTS,” we happily pay the price of success. In so doing we avoid the pain and disappointment that comes from repeatedly letting ourselves down.
We won’t have to deal with those terribly discouraging feelings that we experience when we repeatedly, and half-heartedly, play at pretending to turn our “shoulds” into reality.
On the other hand, if we allow what we want to reside in the “should” category, we will pay a far greater price for doing so. Those repeated starts and stops are death by a thousand cuts.
Little by little we slice away at our soul until we become so disillusioned that we don’t even bother to try but instead work hard to convince ourselves that those things we really want are not really that important and, eventually reconcile ourselves to a life without them.
Sadly, the disappointment of not accomplishing these things never leaves us. While the mask we wear each day may portray smiles and happiness, our psyche bleeds from disappointment and self-defeat.
MUST creates urgency, urgency drives action and action produces results.
If you don’t want it until you MUST have it, you will probably never get it.
Enough said. MUST go now.
Till we read again.
My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
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