Don't should on yourself

December 17, 2010 popular , life 1 min read

I have developed the terrible habit of shoulding on myself: I should do that; I should blog more; I should return his phone call; I should finish that project; I should clean the office.

Should is a dangerous word. It conveys a sense of obligation. Failure to follow through with things you should do leads to guilt. Guilt is demotivating.

Should kills discipline. It allows you to entertain the notion of doing something without committing to it. It tempts you to procrastinate the things you want and need to do do.

Replace “should” with “will” or “will not”. Don’t should on yourself.

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avatar of Brandon Keepers I am Brandon Keepers, and I work at GitHub on making Open Source more approachable, effective, and ubiquitous. I tend to think like an engineer, work like an artist, dream like an astronaut, love like a human, and sleep like a baby.