Shutting Down the Should’s!
You know those times when you feel like you’re beating your head against the wall to make something happen? This thing that you just KNOW should be working for you right now, but doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere. This goal that you’ve been hell-bent on achieving within a certain time-frame, yet you keep feeling blocked from reaching the finish line. When you hear the word “should” in your head – a LOT. Pummelling you. Discouraging you.
What if you could just put it down, and walk away… what if by doing so, you could turn everything on its head and loosen it all up again?
Once while I was playing Jenga with my son and a friend, my youngest asked me “How come the blocks you choose always move?” My answer… “because I always choose the blocks that are ready to move.” He was investing time and energy into moving the Jenga block that HE felt should move next.. the one he wanted to move next… and sometimes it would work, and other times it made for some very shaky Jenga-tower moments. Some blocks don’t give a hoot about whether you think they should move or not – they’re just not ready. When it was my turn, I took time to give many blocks a small, testing tap – and when I felt one move easily, that’s the one I would choose.
What if making progress towards our overarching life goals could be approached exactly like this? To allow the tasks themselves to inform us of whether they are indeed ready to go forward. To respond to a stubborn block not with frustration and increased effort, but by turning our attention to something else that IS moving easily. To ask ourselves – what else might be ready to move, here? What else is worthwhile doing that feels much lighter, that moves forward with ease?
And what if, by doing so, you experienced the greatest bonus: the next time you came to check on the stubborn and immovable blocks, you discovered something had altered, and they were now ready to move with ease?