The one thing you really should do today

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Personal Development | 4 comments

There’s one thing you really should do today and that’s stop shoulding yourself! How many of those things you should do are really necessary? How many of those shoulds make your life more awesome? Do you have the time/energy/money to do more than you’re doing?

Now when I say, or write, “you” I am including myself in that statement because lately I just can’t seem to shake the shoulds. You see, I had this plan. And my plan hasn’t exactly worked out as planned. And that’s mostly okay, but I can’t seem to let go of the plan. I keep shoulding myself as if all those shoulds will get me exactly what I want, even though I know I’m already doing what I can.

Now I know, I know, life rarely goes according to plan. And I know it’s the day-to-day experience of life that counts, not the heft of my portfolio and resume. All that stuff is good, of course, but my portfolio and resume is not my life. This is my life- this right here, sitting at my computer writing this blog post and hoping to convince myself, and maybe even you, to live life and love life.

what I should doPhoto by Sookie

Goals are good. Plans are good. We need motivation and direction and inspiration to be happy. At least, I do. But I also need to take care of myself, my family, and just enjoy life!

Back to my plan, well, it not working out as planned hasn’t been bad nor has it been especially good. It’s just been. I’m entering a whole new phase of my professional life and everything is different. I tell myself if I do x/y/z then I’m sure to be successful.

Only there’s no guarantee I’ll get the results I want. And even if I did, what is it really worth if I don’t enjoy getting there?

Day-to-day I’m doing the best I can do to embrace and celebrate life. The truth is it’s been hard to adjust to this new direction for my career and adding on a few health problems has made the last few months more of a challenge.

I’m already doing what I can, and it doesn’t really matter what the experts say I should do to be successful. It doesn’t matter what other people think of what I do. It’s my life, and I’m doing what I can with it.

At the end of the day, all I can do is what I can do. And what I can do is enough.

At the end of the day, all you can do is what you can do. And what you can do is enough.

At the end of the day, all you can do is what you can do. And what you can do is enough.

No more shoulds. No more guilt. No more feeling inadequate because you should have done something different, or should have done something more.

Do what you can with what you have, right where you are. Live each day while you’re in it. Find meaning in the experience of the day- not what you have to show for it.

Be happy. Be well. Just be.



  1. A great message, Chrysta – I find myself getting caught up in a lot of blogging “shoulds” – like, I should comment on and share all these blog posts I don’t really have time to read properly, I should respond to all those messages on Twitter and Facebook etc. etc.

    I’m slowly learning to accept that what I can do is enough – and some stuff just has to stay “undone” – and that’s okay.

    Thanks for this lovely, life-affirming post, Chrysta.

    • Ah, Susan, you took the message right out of my words! The shoulds I was referring to in my post were, indeed, many of the same blogging shoulds. In truth, that’s the very reason I’m replying to your comment a week later. I know I should reply right away, but I decided to give myself a week off from the shoulds!

      As you said, some things we should do just have to stay undone and it really is okay! It’s possible I might get more comments, or more traffic, or more whatever by doing all the things I should do as a blogger, but I’m not going to let my so-called success get in the way of taking care of myself and just enjoying life! Who says life would be better if I did all those things, anyway? Would my life instantly become 200% more awesome if I did all those things all the time- probably not!

      Thank you so much for commenting and for affirming for me that I there’s nothing I should do (other than write posts) to be a blogger!


  2. Funny how every single one of us gets caught up in the shoulds of life. As if there is a magic formula to fast track success that works for absolutely everyone. The only thing we should do is give the best we can and accept that some days that will be more than others.

    Hope your health problems are gone soon!

    Thanks! ~ Alli

    • Alli, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this!

      I love your perspective that the only thing we should do is give the best we can and accept that some days that will be more than others. This past week has been one of those where I had less to give than others, and so I’m responding to your comment a little later than I’d like, but it’s the best I can do and that’s just fine!

      Have a grateful day!


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