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