The Problem With Should

The older I get the more I am careful with dogmatisms. Insisting the world should work a certain way can create disillusionment when it is not so. One of the great aspects of strong leaders is their vision of how things should be but being able to connect with people and reality where it is today.

Aspirations and dreams are what moves us forward. Otherwise, why get up in the morning and work hard? However, the dreamer will only struggle as a town crier without an audience if they can’t connect. Much of connecting is seeing things as they truly are. This is important if you want to make an impact and get things done.

While I, like many others, wish the world would work differently, I have come to terms with how things are:

  • People do act in self interest
  • Self interest propels the economy
  • There are few people with creative ideas
  • There are fewer people that think
  • There are even fewer people that are willing to pay a price
  • Value is in the eye of the beholder
  • Just because I care does not mean everyone will
  • Everyone has a motive
  • Wise people figure out everyone’s motive
  • The road for character is lonely

The tensions of our economy and culture do produce amazing abundance in many forms. It’s part of the paradox and beauty of it all. Embracing how things are has afforded me not only a great deal of sanity but also effectiveness.

I guess that’s the bottom line. There’s the insanity of continuing in despairing idealism or getting on with life, cracking the code to how things work and making ideas happen. If it’s a choice between being right or being effective, then I opt to discard the inflexible shoulds for the fruits of return on my labor. This, of course, means keeping my shoulds close to my convictions. External strategies with internal convictions.

What are your thoughts?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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