Should, Could, Would, Can, Will, DO

Kathy Krugerbalance, find your flow, yinyang16 Comments

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Ok here’s a question for you? Which auxiliary verb (yep I checked with the grammar police) are you prefacing your life with? Or is it all about WANTs?

Are you a coulda, shoulda, woulda excuse maker or an ‘I want’, ‘I think I can’ or an ‘I just will’ kinda person. Or DO you just DO?

When it comes to living a balanced life I reckon we (damn it, going to have to say SHOULD) be living our lives in about these proportions:

Should –  5% this is a pretty yucky space to spend our life. Of course there are some things we are pretty much duty-bound to do – looking after our kids and taking out the garbage spring to mind. But without getting too annoyed with our obligations we SHOULD (eek) pretty much just get on and DO this stuff?And if the SHOULD applies to other’s (or societal) expectations of us, then we SHOULD (damn that word again) really make up our own minds? Do you really WANT to do it? And watch out for SHOULDA regrets – dangerous!

Could – 10% – this is the space where we consider our options, weigh pros and cons and consider our talents and abilities and how they match with our desires  – we could do something, but CAN we (let’s face it we CAN do most things, but not everything)? And do we really WANT to do that thing we COULD do? This is deliberation and honest reflection at its best, but if we throw out too many (wild) options for ourselves then its pretty much time wasting – procrastination at its worst. And if it becomes COULDA then all we are doing is regretting missed opportunities, making excuses.

Would – 0% – I reckon this is just a plain excuse – always followed by BUT or an IF ONLY and usually blaming someone or something. Don’t give this auxiliary verb the time of day.

Want to – 10% – this looks like a pretty low figure for everything we WANT in  life. But wants can be transitory and often material. Even when they aren’t and go much deeper, we can’t (really don’t like that word either) live our lives based on desires unless we are prepared to take action to get (or achieve) what we WANT. Having said that, you really WANT your desires to match your values, so getting clear on what you WANT is a necessary and important step.

Can – 10% this is that space in which we make up our mind that we’re capable of doing something that we presumably WANT to do, but let’s face it, if we spend too much time here we’re just procrastinating. Although sometimes, like the little engine puffing up that hill, we do need to give ourselves a pep talk ‘I think I can, I know I can.’ So for that reason, spend just a bit of time in CAN before you act – it’ll get your confidence up. Go little engine!

Will – 15% – this is crunch time, decisions made, plans locked in. If not then it is just a poor, lame extension of the CAN stage. If you know you want it, know you can do it, then just say you WILL and get on with it. WILL gets 15 percent because it represents real commitment and planning after all that contemplation. Of course the proof of WILL is in the action so don’t make false promises (to yourself or others).

DO – you guessed it – in yin-yang style DOing should equal around 50% of our energies. We learn by DOING. We live by DOING.

Yin is all about getting clear on what you COULD (weighing options realistically) DO, taking into account the non-negotiable things you SHOULD DO (while not worrying what others say you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T DO), being really clear about what you WANT at a deep, values-driven level, believing that you CAN (or making decisions to ensure you can – training, saving etc), and finally deciding that you WILL, with a plan of attack.

Yang is doing. Simple as that.

Rinse and repeat.

What do you reckon – have I got the percentages right?

Are you going to ditch the ‘woulds’, seriously curtail the ‘shoulds’, limit the ‘could’s and just go for what you want and what you can DO!

Linking up with Jess for another IBOT.

PS – And don’t forget to link up a post about infertility and pregnancy loss experiences for my first monthly link-up next week (from Monday 18th), or encourage friends and family who’ve had these experiences to share their story or read the posts – sharing is healing.

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Kathy KrugerShould, Could, Would, Can, Will, DO

16 Comments on “Should, Could, Would, Can, Will, DO”

  1. always josefa (@always_josefa)

    I do, do and do some more! Lately I have also accepted that if I can ask for help in my “doing” and if someone else will be able to “do” that one thing better and quicker than me, then I am not going to weigh myself down with it, I am going to ask for their help. Have really lifted a weight with me and I am doing so much more x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Sorry for the late reply Josefa – I think are you DOING so much and glad that you are outsourcing. When you are such a DOer it is a challenge to make it stuff you love.

  2. hugzillablog

    I have made a very concerted and deliberate effort to be more of a do-er this year, and my word, it is reaping rewards. I’m having such an amazing year. Best one in ages. I totally put it down to saying “yes” to opportunities rather than finding reasons not to. Great post.

  3. middleagedmama1

    Intriguing post Kathy! We have a silly song we sing at home “shoulda coulda woulda done dis and dat, don’t wanna live life with another regret” …

    Visiting from #teamIBOT xxx

  4. mummywifeme

    I am mainly a do-er, but when it comes to social activities I am a bit of a would-a. ‘I would go out for drinks with you, but the kids have been sick and I should stay home’. Oooh, I just used would and should in a sentence there. I think I need help :)

  5. Grace

    I shudder each time I hear myself “should”. I don’t think I’m in the idealistic 50% of do but I’m trying to get there. Probably more at 40-45% with another 10% stuck in the “could” which just makes me want to kick myself because there’s is no reason for it not to be in the “do” zone.

  6. Tegan Churchill

    I’ve mostly ditched the word ‘should’ because of the negative guilt that is associated with using it. Guilt doesn’t help anyone. I’ve actually found lately that offhandedly saying on twitter that I ‘need’ to be doing something that I really don’t want to do, it gives me the kick up the rear I need to actually do it!

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