Must and Must not vs. Should and Should Not

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What do you have deep convictions about in how you live your daily life? What are the things that you absolutely must do every day? What are the things that you absolutely must never do? What about the things you SHOULD do and SHOULD NOT do?

We all have deep convictions of one kind or another but how you build those convictions and the weight of importance you give them could be a telling indicator as to your level of success in your life.

I remember running in to this concept on a Tony Robbins CD called “Lessons in Mastery” a few years back. There is much wisdom to be gleaned from the content on that CD set and I revisit them from time to time. He discussed it in reference successful people and the things that they “must” do, and “must not” do vs. those who see things from the “should” and “should” not do. The bottom line is that successful, happy people were more inclined to have hard and fast personal convictions about those things that they must and must not do in their daily lives and breaking those convictions in either direction was very serious to those folks.

The premise is that if you examine the things that you should and should not do, you’re likely to find things that should really find themselves on the must and must not do list. Take smoking for example. People who are trying to quit smoking wrestle with should not vs. must not. Same goes for over-eating: some people are absolutely horrified by the idea and would never do that because of the ill effects on their health, but then there are others who are of the “should not” variety but occasionally indulge. This isn’t to say that occasionally pleasurable things can’t be enjoyed, but in reality where do you draw the line?

Look through your regular daily life. What’s your conviction about continuing to learn by reading thought-provoking and mind-sharpening material? What’s your conviction about exercise? What about your business? What are the things that you SHOULD be doing? Should they find their way to your must-do list? Same thing goes for the should-nots vs. must nots.

I’ve been looking at a lot of these things lately and I’m determined to make some changes that will hopefully have some noticeable positive impact in all areas of my life – my marriage, my health, my business, etc. One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Jim Rohn that says, “learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If work hard at your job you’ll make a living.  If you work hard on yourself you will make a fortune.” And this really isn’t about making a fortune so much as it’s about reaching to the fullest extent of my God-given talents and capacity. It’s a challenging task for sure!

What are you going to develop a deep conviction about and move it from the “should/should not” to the “must/must not” list?