Should Do and Want To, but Won’t

Man ThinkingHave you ever been in a situation where you felt you should do something, but maybe you didn’t really want to? Or the reverse, where you felt you shouldn’t do something, but you really did want to?

Wanting to do something feels a lot better than feeling like we should do something. When I read a book I want to read, I get a lot more out of the experience and generally enjoy it more. When I read a book I feel I should read, it takes a really long time for me to read and I don’t enjoy the book as much. That experience between want’s and should’s is pretty universal.

How about when you don’t want to do something? If you don’t want to do something and you do anyway you won’t get as much out of the experience, right? Well, yes and no. There are a lot of things that I don’t want to do (on some level) that I do anyway because the reason I don’t want to do it is that it’s outside of my comfort zone (for more on that read this post).

I recently found myself with an opportunity to do something that I felt I should do and I wanted to do it, but I had little energy for it (I was tired just thinking about it). I reviewed my energy for this opportunity from many different angles. Was it outside my comfort zone somehow? Was I being fueled by rivalry? Was I trying to prove something to someone? Was I worried about what other people would think?

I finally decided to sit down and prepare for this opportunity. The words wouldn’t come. I sat for a while and had many feelings that I wanted to convey, but no words to express them.

That’s when I quieted myself and listened to my gut (or intuition). I learned that I wasn’t ready for this opportunity at this time. That’s why I had low energy for it. And I realized that while this specific opportunity would never be available again, I can share with a portion of that audience in other ways in the future, when I am ready and there is energy for it.

When you find yourself in a place where the should’s and want to’s meet, but have no energy or enthusiasm for the task don’t forget to check your gut or intuition. What does that say you should do?

Photo credit: Thinking RFID by @boetter via flickr

5 thoughts on “Should Do and Want To, but Won’t

  1. I love how you quieted yourself and really checked your own energy for this opportunity.

    Also cool was the way you gave yourself permission to let the opportunity go without fear that it would “never come again.” THat’s a big thing sometimes for me. I’m afraid if I let something go, I’ll miss out somehow.

    Of course, the truth is that when the timing’s right, new opportunities show up just fine.

  2. Hi Evie,

    Excellent tip here.

    I take a 5 to 10 minute break each hour to be still. When still, we hear our intuition more clearly. We drown out the ego’s shouting, the noise which blocks our good, or our divine assignment.

    Wants precede cool feelings, and cool experiences. Shoulds precede stressed feelings, and stressed experiences. Should usually means you do something for someone other than yourself, and it ain’t because you want to do it.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Evie! Keep wanting 😉


  3. Hi Evie,
    I too find it hard going when I am doing something I should do but don’t really want to do. However, because I know how strong my desire to stay inside my comfort zone is, I tend to plow on anyway.
    I like your idea of taking time to see whether the discomfort is being caused by having to step outside the comfort zone or is perhaps symptomatic of something deeper. This is something I’ll be taking more time to do in the future.
    Thanks for the great post.


  4. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” The best measure of whether something is right for us, or equally wrong for us, is quieting our mind and going within ourselves. Our deep intuition is a very powerful tool that helps keep us on the right path. No matter how busy we are in life we have to find the time for reflection.

  5. Thank you for highlighting a very important point that’s de-emphasized by our society: it’s okay if you’re not ready to take this action today. In the past, any time I acted from the place of false urgency, I didn’t like the outcome. This was a big learning for me! I found I was able to trust my intuition as my self-confidence grew, and that they feed off each other. The rising tide lifts the boats of self-trust and self-esteem equally. Great article!

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