Ditch All The Shoulds: Do What Actually Matters

Life seems to be full of a million shoulds.

I should get all A’s. I should get a summer internship. I should say hi to them.

While they’re important, inevitable even, we can’t (and shouldn’t) accomplish them all. That’s why it’s so important to differentiate between the meaningful ones and the ones we let society slip into our minds. The ones that didn’t actually pass the filters we should be setting up for our lives. Some shoulds are just straight up not worth our time and effort.

Because what’s the point of building up a future for ourselves and accomplishing all these shoulds if we never truly live our lives? If we spend the whole time too pre-occupied with the next should?

What Matters?

To avoid that let’s take a hard look at what really matters. 

To do this we start with moving past the what to the why. What’s your next deadline? Well why do you have to meet it? To do good in school? Why do you go to school? To develop your education? Why develop educationally? You get the gist.

And your reasons will be personal to you:

Maybe it’s so that you can make an impact on this world through acting against climate-change.

Maybe it’s so that you can bring joy into people’s lives as a professional writer when you grow up.

Maybe it’s because you enjoy learning educationally and are a better person when doing what you love. 

Either way today I encourage you to intentionally put effort into what really matters to you. Because when you’re doing meaningful things that matter to you, it aligns with your values, talents, and interests. From that space you can give your best gift to the world. You can best help people when you’re honing a craft you’ve fallen in love with and you wake up every morning to do something you love. And you can best glorify God when you put all of your passion into developing all that He’s given you.

How are my passions practical?

And you can also best help people when you’re not broke and have a roof to live under.

So it’s all about finding that balance. And you can do this by being open-minded to the many ways there are to pursue what you love in a practical way:

  1. Getting a day-job so you can seriously pursue your other passions. 
  2. Giving your services for free to gain experience, exposure, and build up your connections. 
  3. Talking to and reaching out to people you might never have reached out to before. 
  4. Blending your passions with other high-paying skills.
  5. Working and saving up to later go all-in on your passions. 
  6. Delegating some work so that you have more time for your true interests.

And this list is far from exhaustive there are so many more opportunities. 

So I leave you with five beautiful quotes to push you off this launch pad: 

We must act out passion before we can feel it.

Jean Paul Sartre

He who has a why to live with can bear with almost any how.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.

Seth Godin

It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower. 

Paul Graham

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

I trust that you can make even the smallest bit of time for yourself to think about what matters to you today. Go live meaningfully.


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