We should send a whale-shaped rocket to Saturn, but can we? – Words that fail us.

“We should improve company morale!”
“I must complete these project deliverables!”

“Should and must.”
Whenever I hear these insipid words I immediately lose interest.
That’s when my mind starts to wander and I envisage the whale-shaped rocket en route to Saturn.
“It sure sounds like a fun thing any Space Administration should accomplish?

“Should and must” are two of the most devious words in our vocabulary.
Why?
They gently move us into a comfort zone where we feel we did something.

But in the meantime we accomplished less than nothing!
Yes, that’s how those insidious words lull us into a false sense of accomplishment!
Those two words pacify us into believing we are taking action.

How many times have you heard someone say, “You should ask that girl out on a date?”
“You should buy that car!”
“You must take the plunge!”
“You should send out your CV!”
And ever so often, how many of those scenarios ended with, “But I didn’t?”

“Must” and “should” are not practical words.
Of course there are others, but these two are the main candidates that I’ve used too many times in my life.
Take at look at active debates on any social media platform, especially comments on Twitter.
Count the times you either see “should” or “must.”

So how do you go about changing this?
Well, it certainly isn’t as easy as imagining the whale-shaped rocket en route to Saturn.
Once you’ve decided what it is that you wish to achieve in a specific context then it becomes easier to eradicate those pesky words from your vocabulary.

Do you really crave Emma’s attention and wish to take her for drinks?
Of course you do!
Then man up and don’t say “I should ask her out for drinks!”
You’re not a wuss!
You’re going to ask, “How can I approach her without looking like a complete creep? ”
Yes, of course you might be shot down, but you asked a valid question!
Emma’s friends might help you, who knows?
But you wouldn’t have thought of it had you not abolished the “should!”

You long for the feeling of new wheels below you?
You want that new car!
“You should buy it?”
No!
You will make an appointment to go and test-drive it.
Perhaps you dislike it after a few rounds behind the wheel.
But you DID something!

Are you feeling a bit more convinced that certain words can enslave you within a vicious infinite loop?
Words matter.
Use words that necessitate action!
Choose words with energy that fuel you to get going!