HOW many things can you think of that you’ve told yourself you should do but never actually develop the habits or rituals needed to get those things done? I can think of a lot that I too often never do anything about.
I should workout today.
I should save that $5 I spend on coffee.
I should make that call or write that email.
What this post is about is turning the ‘shoulds’ in your life into ‘musts’. Instead of saying “I should workout” let’s turn that into “I must work out.” This is a concept my father told me about when I was very young that he heard from Tony Robbins. Everyone has different opinions and views on Tony Robbins, but I say truth is truth. You cannot deny that this concept would change your life. When turning your ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’, you are in fact raising the standards you have in your life. Turning your ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’ is how you raise your standards in life. If there is any part of your life that you are unhappy with it can be sourced back to the standards you place on yourself in that particular area.
So what happens in your life when you turn a ‘should’ into a ‘must’? You become in control of the quality of your life. Would the quality of your life not improve if you had to work out, or had to make that phone call with opportunity, or had to save money? It’s common sense. So what prevents us from taking this action? The problem is found in how we identify ourselves. If we have always identified ourselves as someone that is lazy or un-athletic, even when we try and change ourselves the change won’t last for long because we are ultimately whoever we believe we are.
So what can we do to enact long-term change if we’ve always identified ourselves in a way that is opposite of the change we want to see? We do that by raising the standards we have in our life and by turning ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’. This gives us a completely new identity. Make these changes in your life and we redefine ourselves and cause change that will last and improve the qualities of our life.
This concept is incredibly important because it ties into one’s thinking and attitude. We all talk to ourselves, but everyone talks to themselves differently based on how they identify themselves. My self-talk? Every morning as I am getting ready, I take an idea from “The Power of Positive Thinking” (originally titled “The Power of Positive Faith”) and I repeat over and over again to myself, “I can handle any and all situations that come my way today.” How does someone who doesn’t have that level of confidence talk to themselves? They’ll say something like “work is going to be crazy today, I just need to get through everything without getting in trouble.” If you identify yourself as someone who just gets through the day without trying to cause too much trouble your self-talk will reflect that identity which will ultimately have an effect on your actions because you will eventually pass up opportunities.
Instead of saying “I should take that opportunity,” we all should say “I must take that opportunity regardless of the risk.” Make that a habit and eventually your identity begins to make a steady shift. Months, maybe years down the road, you’ll be the person that knows how to jump on an opportunity. You’ll be looking for them everywhere. You’ll identify yourself as an opportunity taker. This concept can apply to all areas of your life where you keep telling yourself you ‘should’ do something instead of you ‘must’ do something.
You can change your life in a matter of an instant. One decision. Decide to change your ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’ and raise your standards. This will change your life, change the quality of your life, change your identity, and you’ll be on your way to the fulfillment that we all desire.
“Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.” – Tony Robbins