Don’t should all over yourself

Don't should all over yourself.

I listened to Brad Stulberg on the Rich Roll Podcast, and I loved what Brad said about using “should”.

He said it in a funny way: “Don’t should all over yourself.

When you catch yourself shoulding, ask yourself, can you replace it with a wish or a want?

And if the answer is no, then maybe you shouldn’t do that thing.

And if the answer is yes, then soften the tone by saying. “I wish I would’ve been able to exercise.”

It’s not nearly as judgemental.

He then referred to a parable in Buddhism about dealing with suffering more skilfully.

Buddha once asked a student: “If a person is struck by an arrow, is it painful? If a second arrow strikes the person, is it even more painful?”

He then explained: “In life, we can’t always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The second arrow is optional.”

You could have an intrusive thought; your schedule could get in the way of working out – whatever it is – the first arrow hurts. It sucks. But the second, third or fourth arrow, all those additional arrows, are your judgements about those things, your repression of those things, your shoulding on yourself. And those arrows often hurt worse than the first arrow – you make a mistake, and then you beat yourself up for making a mistake.

Don’t do that.

Accept that you’re not perfect and try again tomorrow.

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