Getting rid of the “should”


There are words in the human language we need to get rid of entirely. They are completely passive and worth nothing when it comes to action or change. Tops of this list is the word “should”, which we always seem to include when we really have no intention doing, saying or feeling whatever precedes it.

“I really should lose weight.”

“I should leave now so I’m not late.”

“I should go to bed so I get one decent night’s sleep.”

In other words, “I should” leaves out the critical “but I won’t” that usually always follow it.

Worse, the word should is often used to underscore things like guilt or regret once the event has passed and you didn’t do what you knew you should have done. These are two more bullshit wasted emotions that generally do nothing more than tear down your self esteem and keep you paralyzed from doing anything useful or worthwhile.

“I should have listened to you but I didn’t.”

“I should have never eaten that entire cheese pie.”

“I should have never trusted so-and-so.”

That means you knew what you needed to do and ignored it, and now you want to whine about the consequences.

All of which are completely useless.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda but didn’t.

When it all comes down to it, you either do or you do not. If you have intent, act on it. If you do not, then don’t bitch about. No one got anywhere on a “should”.

In other words, do or do not. There is no try. The only reason I’m not X amount of pounds thinner than the start of the year is that I knew I should have done x, y and z but I did not.

Yet when it came to making something of my writing career, I did act on it, and the results responded accordingly.

The other reason should is such a BS term is it often trumps human desire for the more dutiful obligation.

“I should call my mother more often.”

“I should not think ill of people.”

“I should get to the gym more often.”

In other words, I’m not a bad person because I know what I need to do and intend to do it – regardless of whether I do it or not.

But as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

We’re not always going to be nice, but that doesn’t make us bad. Discover why you really don’t want to do the things you know you should do and own that, rather than just passively toss the “S” word around.

“I know I should call my mother more often but whenever I talk to her it makes me feel (insert emotion here). So I don’t want to.”

“I know I should not think ill of people but they f*cking piss me off when they act like horse’s asses, especially when I find that behavior similar to my own reviled traits I don’t have the courage enough yet to change.”

“I know I should get to the gym more often but I haven’t yet committed myself to doing what needs to be done for whatever reason.”

Once you fix the second part, then there’s no need for a “should” on the first part. You’ll simply do it.

Should is nothing more than a mealy mouthed place holder for what you really feel, and in a lot of ways it’s a dishonest one. Therefore it needs to be obliterated from the human tongue. Replace it instead with the more direct “I will”. This commits you to your action, whereas “I should” gives you an implied escape. “I will” drives you. “I should” is nothing more than an excuse precursor.

So to live a life of no excuses, you have to get rid of it.

No ifs, ands, buts or shoulds.

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