It's easy to feel oerwhelmed when you are trying to write a book or pursue some other demanding creative project. It's important to take a break once in a while, which is what I'm doing, and that's why I've brought back a few of my favorites from my Brainstorm and Focus ebulletin.
The first is the terrific news that all those things you have to do...you don't!
OK we’ll leave aside breathing, eating and a few other functions, but here’s a liberating thing: as an adult, you don’t HAVE to do anything!
I am a fan of the philosophy of the late Albert Ellis, who came up with Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. One of the foundations of that approach is getting rid of the “shoulds” in your life. Let’s look at some common examples:
“ I should lose some weight.” No, you CAN lose some weight. If the benefits of losing weight are important to you, then that will be the right choice for you.
“I really should clean up my office.” Again, you CAN clean up your office. And if you frequently are frustrated by not being able to find files or supplies, or you regularly stub your toe on the boxes piled up everywhere then that choice will be rewarding.
Of course this applies to “should nots” as well. “I shouldn’t spend so much time watching TV.” Are there other things you’d enjoy more or that would benefit you more? Then you can choose to do them.
The key question when you find yourself facing a “should” or “shouldn’t” is “Who says?” If it’s a genuine desire on your part, go ahead and choose that course. If it’s somebody else’s idea of what’s right for you, get in touch with your inner brat and say (if only in your mind) “I don’t want to, and you can’t make me!”
ACTION: Are you being held prisoner by any shoulds or shouldn’ts? Is it time to liberate yourself?
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