I hate being told what I should do.
Especially when I’m talking to myself.
There is an iconic sign everyone sees as they cross northbound from New Hampshire into Maine on Interstate 95. In white letters on a background of blue everyone is greeted with “Welcome to Maine…the way life should be.”
Maine is beautiful, overflowing with an abundance of natural wonder and inherent tranquility. In a state the size equal to the combined area of the other five New England states, Maine’s vastness and slower pace make it a perfect place to relax and escape the intensity and demands of Big City living.
Perhaps the sign is right. This is how my life should be.
I just don’t like the word “should”.
Should is the verbal hammer I use when I beat myself up for the mistakes I accuse myself of making. “I should have turned off at that last exit.” “I should have put more money aside for the kid’s education.” “I should have had the salad instead of the fried chicken.”
Should is shrouded in regret and regrets don’t get you anywhere. They simply remind you of your failure in making a better choice. Should can also bring a bitter dissatisfaction of what already is, fueling the notion that life should be treating us better than we feel it has been.
Too often, though, should just leaves us feeling bad about ourselves.
What if instead of living your life lamenting over what your life should be like you were to shift your focus to what your life could be like?
Have you ever stopped and contemplated what is possible for you in life? Many of us forget such possibilities even exist because we’re too busy beating ourselves up over some of the decisions we’ve made during our lifetime.
There is something magical about looking at your life through the lens of what could be, when you are no longer tethered to your self-imposed limitations and triumphantly stand in awe of the vastness of your own possibilities. From this perspective we gratefully accept what is and are energized by the infinite options which are available to us.
Yes, the options are infinite.
And, yes, they are available to all of us.
Life always lets us decide if we will choose to live passively and simply accept what is or if we will live proactively and embrace the endless possibilities of what could be.
What is it that your life could be? What are the hopes, dreams, and aspirations lying dormant inside of you awaiting your decision to make them come alive?
Welcome to your life…the way life could be.
It’s a great day to be you!