Vail Daily column: Should I or shouldn’t I?
Here’s the first scenario … one of our New Year’s resolutions was to get in better shape, lose weight, improve muscle tone and increase our cardiovascular endurance. We are one week into our commitment, eating right and living at the gym when some well-intentioned associate decides to bring bagels and donuts into the office or store. And that is when the question pops into our head, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”
And now the second scenario … we are out celebrating with friends. Maybe it’s a birthday, anniversary or just watching our favorite teams in the local sports bar. The night is going incredibly well and everyone is having a ton of fun. As a matter of fact it is one of the best nights we have had in a long time as we share a great time with our closest friends and family. Before we know it, it’s decision time about driving home. The drive could be 2 blocks, 2 miles or 2 hours and we have a decision to make about getting behind the wheel and so here comes that question again, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”
Now trust me, I am not trying to steal anyone’s fun or assume the role of the post-Christmas Scrooge or Grinch. Stay with me on this one for just a little bit longer, OK?
Let’s try the third scenario … we are in a rush, running late for a very important meeting, maybe even a final job interview or other equally significant event. As we scramble to gather ourselves together, bolt into the parking lot or garage for our car, we witness an elderly couple who has just dropped their groceries all over the parking garage. There are milk and eggs running everywhere and cans rolling underneath the surrounding parked cars. We are already running late, our future could be on the line and yet there is that question again, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”
Should I eat that donut or bagel? Should I get behind the wheel? Should I stop and help these folks who obviously need help? Each scenario is vastly different from the other. And that’s the point right? I mean we are faced with “Should I or shouldn’t I” situations all the time.
The answer or response is going to be different for everyone based on our individual belief systems and level of integrity and commitment to our integrity. One definition of integrity is this, “Doing the right thing even when no one else is looking.” So with integrity defined in that way, the “Should I or shouldn’t I” question that pops into our heads in any situation could really be a non-question or issue as we already know what our answer or response will be, don’t we?
Doing the right thing and making the right choices in life always sounds easy, but in reality it is something that many people struggle with each and every day. This especially impacts our youth who are surrounded by peer pressure in unprecedented ways. “Should I go along to get along?” “Should I do the same things others are doing just to be accepted?” Tough stuff for sure, but better managed with a stronger belief system.
And it’s not just our children or the youth, we as adults are faced with “Should I or shouldn’t I” questions every day, too. And we know the difference between wrong and right, don’t we? I mean it’s just that darn temptation thing that keeps popping up isn’t it?
Here’s a tip that has helped me and it just might help you, too. Commitment to our belief system, commitment to our goals, commitment to integrity places us in a position to respond favorably long before the decision point of “Should I or shouldn’t I.”
2015 has the potential to be the year where accomplishment trumps defeat, where commitment outruns temptation and where retreat gives way to persistence and perseverance. How about you, are you already solid in knowing how you will respond in any “Should I or shouldn’t I” scenarios? I would love to hear all about it at goto firstname.lastname@example.org, and when we are grounded in how we will respond, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.