Episode 126 The Plague of Should

October 20, 2023

Good morning from Mexico City. What’s on my mind this morning is self trust and what I sometimes refer to as the plague of the shoulds. Here I find myself in Mexico City, one of the most vibrant places in North America right now. There are articles written about it absolutely everywhere, and so many people you’ve talked to have either been to Mexico City or they have it on their list of places they want to go. Between the museums, the art galleries, the food scene, the parks, the markets the juxtaposition of the history and culture, and this vibrant sense of emergence that you see in every corner of the city. As my friend Eric said, it’s like five cities in one, so of course it’s easy to fall under the spell of the shoulds. And quite frankly, it’s exhausting..

It’s funny I think I’m talking about this because I had a lovely lunch yesterday with someone I met for the first time who was introduced to me through a friend in New York. I brought up the name of a museum to ask him how best to get tickets and if I should get a tour. The first thing out of his mouth was I hate that museum. I was like wow – that completely took me off guard. I was kind of shocked. I said say more, and I let him expound on his reasons. It was really interesting.

I woke up this morning and I thought to myself, I only have so many days here and there’s absolutely no way I can see and do even a small part of the many things I’ve captured on my list. And the very best thing I can do right now is to completely shed the entire list of must see, must do, and mustn’t miss. That’s the plague of the shoulds I’m carrying around in my head.

The truth of the matter is a lot of those tips and suggestions came with great enthusiasm from friends and I so appreciate it, but given my time constraints, the very best thing I can do for myself is to think Hmm, what do I really feel like? What am I curious about? What’s calling my attention? What area of the city do I want to go to and perhaps just wander, meander and get lost? As the French say, flaneur.

So yeah, I think this is sort of a great metaphor for life in general. How much of what we’re doing in our life is because we think we should? Perhaps other people’s shoulds or something that’s on their bucket list. I think we have to go back over and over again through life and say, is this what I want? Is this what I feel like doing? Is this what’s calling me right now?

The net net here is that it’s never too late to set yourself free from the weight and the burden of the plague of the shoulds. That’s all for now. Until next time from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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