Are you shoulding all over yourself? Do many of the sentences that make up your inner dialogue or conversations begin with the word “I should?” If so, you may find yourself exhausted, depleted, confused, angry/irritable, depressed or all of the above! Why? Because obligation is the WORST form of motivation. Doing something for the primary reason of thinking you should keeps you from doing (and knowing) the things you really want to do.
Think of it this way: if you are doing something because you feel obligated by someone or something to do it, the motivation is coming from outside of you. You are not inspired, you are shoulding on yourself! Inspiration is the kind of internal and self-directed motivation that creates fulfilling and on-course results in our lives. True that obligation can indeed get us to take action, but there is rarely any joy or creativity in moving from obligation. Moreover, any results you produce from shoulding all over yourself are usually not lasting.
For example, let’s say you start working out more and eating better because you think you “should.” You may be motivated for a week, a month, maybe even a few months but then you may be right back into old habits. In order adopt a healthy lifestyle, the motivation has to come from a true place of willingness and choice – not just for the results you want but for what it takes to get there.
Let’s take another example of doing something for someone else to avoid upsetting them in some way. Immediately you may feel relieved that you avoided confrontation or pleased someone else but down the road you may realize that you forgot to check in with the needs of one very important person: YOU.
Today create upliftment in your own life by saying no to using obligation as motivation. There is really no such thing that you “should” do so stop shoulding on yourself. Replace the “have to’s” in your life with “want to’s.” Rather than thinking and speaking in “I should’s,” use “I choose” and begin to notice INspiration is a much better type of motivation!
“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.”
– Richard Bach
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs
p.s. Attention EAST COASTERS I’m coming to you this summer! I’ll be teaching a workshop at the Omega Institute June 14-16. Go here to join me. Use the code OEH when your register and receive 20% off the tuition. This is the ONLY event I have planned for the year on the east coast.
p.p.s. Make sure to check out the podcast this week, episode 187, where I coach Dale on how to transform your challenges into your calling. Go here to listen.