Should vs Must

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Should vs Must: There is a huge difference between these 2 words

Today was a bit of a homecoming for me. I was back in my home town of Southampton today, speaking at Southampton Property Hub.

These days I live in Cheltenham, a town that is famous for horse racing.

Have you ever watched horse racing? The jockey is riding along on the horse, jockey tells the horse where to go, right? The jockey also tells the horse when to go fast or go slow, don’t they? And when to do important things like jump the hedges and fences.

The horse does what the jockey tells them to, doesn’t it?

Well, no, not really. Think about it. If you ever watch horse racing you have probably seen a jockey thrown off the horse. The horse then goes wherever the it wants. The jockey is not in control and never was.

Why am I telling you this?

Your logical brain is the jockey. Your emotional brain is the horse.

Your logical brain thinks it’s in control, but in reality we spend much of our lives as a slave to our emotions.

Let me give you an example. Imagine for a minute it’s Monday morning (because this is something that only ever really seems to happen on a Monday). It is Monday morning and someone comes in your office and announces they’re on a diet. Right, it’s always on a Monday. Someone comes in, announces I’m on a diet and then they walk into the kitchen.

Now when they get into the kitchen, what’s waiting in the kitchen? Yep, you guessed it – Cake.

What’s the internal conversation that takes place at this point?

“Cake? Cake! But today’s my detox get healthy day. Who brought in cake?”

Now the logical brain would go, “yeah and you’ve decided you’re getting healthy. You don’t want that cake.” But who wins? It’s not going to be the jockey is it? The horse will take over and say “screw it, I’ll start the diet tomorrow.”

You need to either get your horse on side (or at least keep it in check)!

When it comes to creating content, it is about taking action and not letting your horse derail your plans. The horse will tell you that your blog post or video could be better. It will tell you about the people who might laugh at you or say things like “who do you think you are?”

Successful content creation is NOT about getting stuff right, it’s about getting stuff out. Maybe the lighting on your video could be better or perhaps when you are recording it you make a few mistakes. That’s ok. Done beats perfect.

Actually the person that was hosting the event I spoke at tonight made a video at the end and made a small mistake in what they were saying. Ironically they were talking about done beats perfect but actually said “one of the main things we learned is dumb beats, no. – done beats, not dumb, done beats perfect.”

It illustrated my point perfectly, because whilst the video was far from perfect, it got done (and it got posted).

It’s so much more important to execute and move towards the things you want to achieve, than to just thinking about those things. Thinking alone doesn’t move anything forward. You need to take action.

Should vs Must

For many people the thing that holds them back is the difference between should vs must. People they think about all the things they should do, instead of getting clear on what they must do. When there is no choice and something becomes a must it gets done.

If you think about any area of your life and you take the things that are shoulds and you turn them into musts, you will find a way to make them happen.

A really good example of this… If you’ve purchased something, maybe on like a finance payment and then thought “I’m not sure that I can actually afford this”, once you’ve signed the contract, did you find the money? If you did it’s because that thing became a must for you.

What’s stops you from doing the things you really want? I mean seriously, if there’s something you really want in this world, what stops you from doing it? What is it that stops you from achieving it already?

Now, I know what it was for me.

And I know what it can still be for me sometimes. Sometimes I worry about how I’m going to be perceived if I can’t do something. What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail?

But here’s the thing, anything I’ve ever decided that I must do, I’ve done it.

If you make something so important that your whole life almost revolves around it, like it’s the only thing that matters, you achieve it don’t you? Those things you must do, you achieve. The problem is, most things aren’t a must. Most things are a should. Most things are “I should do this”, or “I want to do this”. Not “I must do this”, not “I’m going to do this”.

And that’s the fundamental difference.