Today I found myself saying to someone: “If you’re looking for reasons as to why you can’t do something, or why you can’t be something….then you’ll always find them, and they’ll be true. However, it is also true that if you’re looking for reasons why you CAN do something, and why you CAN be something….you’ll find them as well – and they’ll also be true. So….which would you rather spend your time doing?”
I’ve worked pretty hard at taking the word “should” out of my vocabulary, and when I hear other people using it, I cringe every time. It’s a shaming word. There’s very little about it that is redeeming, if anything at all. And the word “should” sort of encompasses both sides of the above statement. You should do this or that, or you shouldn’t do this or that….either way – you’re right. Should implies that the person using the word is always right, and always knows best. Whether you’re saying it yourself, for your own benefit (or detriment), or whether you’re saying it to someone else for the same reasons, should is always shaming, and always implies its speaker as “right.” Likewise, if someone is saying should to you – it implies that they know better, and they are also “right.” So, how can everyone be right all the time, when everyone seems to be contradicting each other? Well, they can’t.
It’s a matter of choice. You can CHOOSE to listen to the should’s or you can CHOOSE to say, “don’t should on me!” to yourself or whomever is saying this little powerful word. In the same way, you can choose to look for reasons why you CAN’T do something, and you will always be right – or you can choose to look for reasons why you CAN do something…and, again, you will always be right. It comes down to choice. And perspective.
I had a great conversation with an old friend yesterday, and I did my best to not say “should” – though I’m sure I wasn’t perfect. But the conversation we had was affirming and validating. It was also refreshing. I was reminded of why I’ve chosen to be a Coach, and why I have done as much personal work as I have. So, that I can have conversations like these, and hopefully help someone else along the way. But the conversation had a big element of Perspective in it. My friend had finally opened a door into inner serenity, and I was so happy for him. So much, he said, was about perspective. How you approach things, and being mindful of what is going on as you begin to see and acknowledge how you’ve done things all along. It’s a new perspective. We, of course, tossed that word around a lot – but today I felt much quieter with it. Perspective shapes SO much of what we say and do, who we are, and what we feel. And perspective, at its base, is driven by choice. It’s such an amazing thing, but it’s true.
The old adages: “fake it ‘til you make it,” and “positive mental outlook” are adages, because they carry truth. You may not be your authentic self when you’re “faking it” but the NEW perspective you will have from that position might just help creep you along into a better place. It’s like having a GPS system in your head all the time. Choosing your perspective means you will either look at the setting sun or the oncoming darkness. Which do you prefer? Or, better still, which has been conditioned into you over years, or decades? And how do you feel about that? Think about it – the simple act of a setting sun can bring about so many mixed emotions, ranging from fear (of the dark), to romance and love. And it’s all in our perspective. It’s all in our choice of what we’re looking at, or for. It’s all in our decision to approach life, from the perspective, that we will always find what we need, and it will always be true – whether it’s negative or positive. And it will always be self-reinforcing.
So, maybe it’s time to step aside, turn your head just a little, and see if you can see things from a different angle. From a new Perspective, and with mindful decision to do so. You might just find what you’re looking for, without knowing you were missing it.
In love and light,