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Should ... not the way to live
by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com.au

Have you ever thought about the word should? More importantly, have you ever thought about how often you use that word, either out loud or to yourself?

"I should exercise more", "I'd like to go out but I should go to bed", "My business should be earning more money by now", "Should I email or call him?"

I think should is a silly and even dangerous word that we would be better off forgetting altogether.

1. Interfering with goals
If you set yourself goal and resolutions based what you should do or what someone else says you should do, you are less likely to reach that goal as it is hard to motivate yourself for a should. What's worse, is that it takes up time when you could be working on a goal that will more you forward and get you to what you really want.

2. Boring!
Just living up to the shoulds instead of making decisions is boring. And as it becomes a habit, you will make fewer decisions, have less control and a lot less fun!

3. Narrow perspective
If all anybody ever did was what is expected of them, there would be no space for creativity or development. It forces a narrow view and stifles your imagination making it harder to find solutions to problems, ways to succeed and satisfaction.

4. Take responsibility
Living under the rule of shoulds is lazy when you break it down. By doing what you should, you are not taking responsibility for your life and your world. At least if you decide to act one way and it fails, you know that you tried and accept that you made a mistake. The reality is you are responsible for your life and actions, so why not take the responsibility to do what you want and think is right, rather than being reactive?

Given we want to stop the shoulds, here are some examples of how you can take control:

  • spend less time with people who tell you what you should do, and more time with people who encourage you to do what is right for you
  • find a form of exercise you like - or one that doesn't seem like exercise! If you enjoy it, you will do it because you want to
  • choose which phone calls you want to answer by screening calls
  • decide if a newsletter will help your business enough to be worth the time it requires
  • develop a habit of turning things off
  • people say "You should get a bookkeeper" but you like doing the accounts - just reply with "I want to do them" or say nothing and keep up the books
  • do something creative every day to expand your views (and creative doesn't just mean paint or sew something!)
  • decide what sort of clients you want for your business, and say no to everyone else
  • jump out of bed with enthusiasm and look at something beautiful or precious - a much better start to the day than dragging yourself out at the last possible second!

Clear communication is critical to the success of any business, but it is often left to care for itself in many businesses. Tash Hughes is a professional and skilled writer who makes technical and otherwise boring information accessible for everyone a business needs to communicate with. Next time you need webcopy, articles, newsletters, reports or any other business document, visit www.wordconstructions.com.au to see how Tash and her team can help your business succeed.

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.


2003 - 12, Tash Hughes