There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Monday, February 7, 2011

Do You Think We Should?

      Should….a word that ought to be stricken from the English language.  I am trying to think of a time that I use that word that actually makes me feel better about myself.

       I “should” eat healthier.  I “should”  keep up with the laundry.  I “should” do a better job of remembering my friends birthdays.

       If I “should” do those things, why don’t I? Is this a misguided attempt to absolve myself of the guilt I feel when I don’t do what I “should” do?

       I have been told on more than one occasion that I am very hard on myself. But shouldn’t I be?  Isn’t that what’s necessary for growth. To evaluate my life and my actions and improve them?  To the friend who’s birthday I forgot, does it really make her feel better that I say I should have remembered?   I think what’s better is for me to design a system to actually remember the birthday.

        On many occasions I have set goals for myself and achieved them, so I know it can be done, why then, do I still have “shoulds” in my life. Any time I find I want to do something that I am not doing,  I feel it's my responsibility to understand why so I can do whatever it is I "should" be doing.

       If I say I “should” lose weight, then its up to me to figure out how and get it done. If I say I “should” volunteer more, then I need to start making some inquires about where to do that.  The problem is when do the “shoulds” end. When are we finally doing enough?  And is it possible to love and embrace ourselves in the process or only once we’ve knocked all the “shoulds” off our list.

       Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps its best to keep this word in our vocabulary, not to excuse my behavior but as a means to keep me pressing forward, improving, perfecting.

        After all, If I ever get on a plane again, I sure don’t want my pilot saying, “I should have done my pre-flight check.”


  1. Hi, Deb. A pleasure to meet you! "Should" & "ought"... well... should or ought to be stricken at least from our internal dialog. they are guilt words. Guilt make you feel bad... and the brain likes to avoid feeling bad, so they rather stink at motivating us. Try a simply replacement of "I WANT..." instead. If you "want" to do something your brain will cooperate in helping you accomplish it. Yikes, did I just write that. Sounded like one of those new agey gurus, but in this case they'd be right. Move from "I should" to "I want". Let me know how that works for you.


  2. p.s. This is still Michael here. Didn't realize I was signed in on this computer with a different login. The one with my photo and name was an old pre-daddy blog I used to dabble with. I've actually been blogging for 6.5 years at least. A Daddy Blog is the only place I post now. Well, there and on Twitter where I'm @adaddyblog.

    -Michael (aka: A Daddy Blog)

  3. I like the advice! I have written some previous posts about the way we talk to ourselves and how destructive it can be. I am going to replace should with want as you suggest, which might also help me determine what is most important to me and where I want to spend my time.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. You're welcome, Deb. Oh, and you are also one of the few people who have seen my face. LOL.

  5. wow...this is great !
    so much thought put into a word that we all overuse !!!
    i should have thought of that :)