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Living in the Land of Should

Sitting in the land of Should

I’m resolving to be more attentive to my blog postings and website updates.  There, I said it.  When I make a commitment as wide spread as this one you can count on it.

I didn’t want to be typical and talk about New Year resolutions in the typical sense.  We all think about what changes we will make and what needs to happen to make life better, easier and simplified.  When resolutions come from only your perspective they work very well.  If they come from someplace else you are now entering the Land of Should…

Just for a moment I want to take you to a land in which we have all been or currently reside and that is the Land of Should.  If your resolutions take you to this land frequently and you reside there more of the time…please read on.

In the Land of Should the pasture is wide and endless, the streets circle back upon themselves and they never really quite go anywhere except back to the beginning.  This land has been built by well meaning other people, friends, family, neighbors, co workers, significant others, spouses and children.  It also was built by parents who are either alive or have long passed on.  You might be surprised that it is also built by the little voices that we listen to residing in our own mind.  Incidentally these chattering voices can come from the recordings received in our subconscious from any of afore mentioned people.  We can’t discount the effect of the contractors or designers which need to be included in the development of the land of should.  The architect’s and impact of this land includes the media and the messages we agree with.

The street signs in the Land of Should, are carved in a really nice font.  Beware however, as you travel this land that the street names change constantly, oh yes some remain the same but others are added frequently.  This creates confusion when traveling through the landscape of the Land of Should.

The street signs might read… I should lose weight, I should quit smoking, I should call my family more often, I should read more, I should exercise, I should sleep more, I should wake up earlier, I should find a new job, I should be more organized, I should go to church, I should clean my closets, I should eat better… the signs and signals are endless.

The buildings and homes in the Land of Should are very large.  So large that they sink in the ground just a little. The weight of the homes and buildings where all the Should’rs work and live are too heavy for the ground they are built upon.  The peculiar thing about each of these buildings is the addresses start with the words Guilt.  So a typical street address would look something like this: Guilt — I should get organized, Land of Should USA or you may fill in whatever country in which you reside.

As you are lazily driving here with me through the Land of Should, the radio is playing and it breaks for a commercial.  The announcer says “hey people of the Land of Should… how many times have you asked yourself today why should I?”  And more importantly, the announcer asks, “who’s should is it?”  If it’s your should and truly yours, why haven’t you?  Could you take your list of shoulds and turn them into ‘if I wanted to I could?’  If you truly can’t take ownership of your shoulds…should they be there at all?

I’m certain you’ve already resolved to change in 2010.  I urge you to move out of the land of should where the foundation is firmer the streets and directions are clear and you have a solid path for successfully living in alignment with your goals for a simple, fulfilling and happier life.  Just ask yourself the questions above when you either mentally, or verbally say “I should”.  When well meaning friends and family, co-workers and parents tell you, that “you should” let them know that you are eliminating the word from your vocabulary in 2010.  That also means that you too must stop imposing your “shoulds” on everyone else.  Your goals and resolutions have a far greater chance of success if you own them, rather than someone else.

As a coach I often hear the “I should” from client’s.  These statements never pass unchallenged.

If you or someone you know would like to move out of the Land of Should, you can contact me via the contact page on this website.  I have only a few openings for new clients this month.  Stay tuned for more postings, as I mentioned… I have committed to frequent postings.

7 Responses to Living in the Land of Should

  • Connie Gildersleeve says:

    How true this is. I love this “Living in the Land of I Should”. We all need to understand that it’s within our self to make changes. Connie

  • Gerrianne says:

    So true. The land of Should is so prevalent in today’s society. When people can connect with themselves in any given moment to find out if the choice they are making is their choice or a should, they are further ahead in living the life they want. My blog on “Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions – One Moment at a Time” talks about creating change by being clear on what you want versus what you think you should do.

    Thanks for bringing the “The land of should” into people’s awareness.

    Take care and Happy New Year.

  • Brian says:

    Interesting read and a good comparison of our wants versus our actions

  • Grace Mauzy says:

    Love this land of should- With my clients, parents of teen athlete girls and teen athlete girls, i constantly run into this truly bad word. As soon as one of my clients uses it I know we need to find where and why they have sunk to shoulding themselves. And when they get out, should is gone, and their passion is soaring. And of course that really does equate with better performance and better results. Because what the girls are doing, or how the moms are supporting has changed form externally driven to internally motivated.

    What a huge difference.

    I really love the way you have written this- I’d love to have this as a featured article on my teen girl athlete site.

    Please get back to me and lets talk.


  • Jeff says:

    Although said with your own prose, I couldn’t have said it any better! We even discussed this to some extent during our phone conversation a month or so ago and who knows, maybe even used that nasty little word. 😀

    Amazing how we are both essentially on the same page as far as our overall 2010 commitments. I too have committed to stop talking about it and enact the NIKE phrase, “Just Do It”. One way or another I’m going to be posting regularly on my one active blog this year along with some others that I started but just never did anything with. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks going over them and what it will take to do them regularly or delete them. Plain and simply; Do It or Remove It.

    One thing that I say to people a lot is about the “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda’s of Life”. You’re right that these words are limiting in the way of achievement. I like to say that depending on the context they are used they look to the Past, Present, or Future with Doubt. So turn Shoulda into I Shall and Coulda into I Can and Woulda into I Will as these are now definitive statements. The Universe supports your intention as stated in its entirety so when there’s doubt in those intentions there’s never surety in the results.

    Love and Blessing to you my friend!!

  • Bonnie Mazzola says:

    Sue, right-on! I sometimes find myself wondering around in the “Land of Should”, these days. After reading this article it made me stop and think on how I need to find away to reside in a place where I can find balance. I seem to be skimming the place where I Live. I need to go on a love walk with myself. I spend too much time on the doorstep of old age and illnesses. I know I need to build me a place where I can reflect on something that will bring me a bit more peace, joy and happiness. Thank you for this wonderful piece of wisdom. You need to write a book.
    Love your sister, Bonnie

  • Interesting that children are brought up in a world of ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’. It’s safe. It’s their safety net.

    However, the moment an adult does something they ‘shouldn’t’ it’s liberating. Can be dangerous, but it is liberating.

    What’s even crazier is the fact that adults generally cannot change their lives unless they start doing or thinking in ‘shouldn’ts’.

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