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Value Creation Blog

5 Reasons I Hate The Word Should

Posted by Josh Patrick

shoulds resized 600There are two words in the English language that I truly dislike.  The first is the word but.  But turns around your words into a negative every single time.  The other word and the subject of this post is the word should.  Should is a word you really need to get out of your language.  Just take my word for this, when you use the word should it doesn’t do you any good.

Should allows you not to take personal responsibility.

You should take out the garbage.  I should lose weight.  Both of those statements are not about you taking responsibility for what’s going on around you.  If you really want someone else to take out the garbage wouldn’t it make sense for you to ask them?  If you really want to lose weight what words would help you move toward taking action?

We spend too much time making excuses for our own actions.  Should helps us in this quest.  Should for me means wouldn’t it be nice.  I don’t know about you, I really don’t want to live in wouldn’t it be nice world.  I want to live in a land of doing or not doing.  Should puts us in the middle and being in the middle doesn’t usually help very much.

Should means there is nothing you can do about it.

We spend too much of our time being helpless.  Using the word should means to me that there is nothing you can do about it.  If that’s your belief system then should probably is the word to use.  It’s OK to say there isn’t anything I can do about it.  This allows you to move on to something you can do something about.

Spending time on things you can’t control will cause you to be frustrated.  When you focus on things you have some control over, you can take action.  This is where you get to feel good about yourself.  It’s where you get to learn.  Living in the world of should does neither.

Should puts you in a position of being helpless.

This fits in with personal responsibility:  When you use the word should you’re often blaming someone else or justifying your behavior.  I know that when people do this with me, I have little interest in working with them.  If I point out their behavior of being helpless several times, I likely will want to move on.

No one wants to hang out with a whiner.  Should is a whining word.  If you can’t do something about an issue say so and move on.  Sometimes not being able is a belief system.  It will likely get you a reaction that’s going to help.  Using the word should won’t.

Should usually is about others.

I find that when most people use the word should they are referring to other people or things.  They are saying if only someone else would get it, then the world would be a better place.  This is one of the problems in our political system.  We rarely look at ourselves.  We usually spend time looking at and blaming others.

If we had a world where we looked at what we do to contribute to an issue I believe the world would be a better place.  Let’s face it you can’t control everything.  You can control what you do.  Getting rid of the word should helps you do this.

Should gives you an excuse when it’s about you.

I should lose weight.  I should exercise more.  I should read more books.  All of these are excuses for behavior that you control.  Whenever anyone says I should do something, I ignore what ever comes after.  I know it’s just empty talk. 

Remember, words have meaning.  When you choose to use a word that allows you to get off the hook you are making yourself weaker.  Others will respect you less and quality people won’t want to hang out with you anymore.  It’s all about your attitude and who you are. 

Help yourself become stronger.  Stop using the word should.

Someday you might want to leave your business.  Instead of saying what you should do, why don’t you find a way to say what you need to do.  We have a succession and transition plan survey you can take that will help.  After filling out our questions you’ll get a report that shows what changes you might want to make in your business.  This can help you get ready to leave your business whether it’s in the next year or ten years from now.  To start on your way to get this report, click on the button below.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

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Topics: business coaching, value creation, Personal Responsibility

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