The One Word You Can Drop From Your Life To Free Yourself In So Many Ways

Oct 19, 2016 | Creativity

We are inundated with “should”.

And if I kept strict to my own should-stuff that once defined a lot of my life, I wouldn’t have seen a mile of rainbows of flowers, a best friend and a big walk in the sun today. I would have been typing all morning, crossing things off a list and moving through what I reasoned to be “the best practices” for my days.

Luckily, a few years ago, I learned that should isn’t a beneficial word when it comes to describing how you spend your time, create art or design a lifestyle in any way. It pre-supposes that there’s one single way life is meant to look: the way it “should” be. It is a subscription to a formula that isn’t always actually sustainable, glancing at a template and trying to shove things into place that will make life look like we were taught it’s supposed to look.

Should can leave you feeling like you’re missing out. It’s a word that damns you for taking a day off, it’s not too forgiving of a word if you want to explore rather than strictly plan, it’s not too big on magic and its expectations aren’t even what we always want.

So, let’s see what life might look like if you did more of what you wanted to do rather than the should.

Welcome to Paradise in Downtown Los Angeles.

I’ll tell you that right about the time my friend and I got lost in this store I got a twinge of… ” I should be answering emails right now.” And I let it go. Because, well, Nature is so reviving and an abundance of freshness is so inspiring.

Shoulds aren’t a fan of abandoning the to-do list.

I’m not suggesting here that you plan nothing, that you keep to no program and operate life without structure, because it’s in these deliberate ways that we get awesome things done. Those deliberate choices are never a should in my mind. They are what you want to do, what you’re committed to and what you’re consciously creating.

“I should be at the gym even though I don’t like going” is different than “I want to exercise more in ways that I enjoy.”

Can you feel the difference?

What would your life look like if you let go of even one thing you decided for whatever reason is what you SHOULD do and replaced it with something that served that same purpose yet felt a whole lot better…? 

For me, recently, it was the decision to walk around daily and hike locally when I could rather than forcing myself into the gym or yoga classes that ate up my days getting there and back.

Can you make one of these switches, accomplishing the same goal without the stress?

You may have to do things that aren’t your first choice to spend your time, whether it’s doing to meetings or to a job that isn’t your dream, doing errands, showing up for stuff that has to be done, taking the car in for a tune up… None of us really relish every moment of every day, and that’s fine.

Adding extra SHOULDS, though, piles up the difficulty. 

What I’m suggesting is that you leave room for more chance and mystery and inspiration and happiness, eliminating all the stuff you’re told is “good for you” that doesn’t really feel good. Unfurling the reigns where steep and stressful deadlines can be extended a few hours or a few days.

Without the shoulds that we add ourselves, life becomes lighter and more free.

Where are you living with shoulds that aren’t even yours?

Loads of the thoughts of what life should look like get absorbed from our family, friends, massive amounts of media and even cultural or religious standards.

When they get stuck to us, these shoulds make us feel wrong for being ourselves.

These are the shoulds to de-clutter as fast as possible to get the anxiety out of life.

This big question opened up my own roadmap to freedom:

Where are you living someone else’s dreams or trying to meet their standards rather than living your own life?

And the flip side of should— is putting it on others.

Are you imposing shoulds on other people? 

Are you expecting that people should be a way that they aren’t? That was a great big ruin in my life, always wanting people to be who I thought they should be and act in ways I thought they should act. I couldn’t accept what was in front of me… rather, I would bemoan how things should be, I’d miss a whole lot of the good I’d experience, and I’d constantly be disappointed.

The truth is, there is no should unless we take it on and make it real for ourselves.

Without a sense of should, you can make more conscious decisions and be more present, seeing the greatness in what’s around you rather than what’s missing.

You’ll likely love more, live more, create more and enjoy more.

Plus, you’ll probably “achieve” more, too. And, it won’t be a massive struggle full of stress.

Trade in your shoulds for clear space and personal choice and watch your world open up beautifully!

xoxo Dana

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