‘should’-free diet: you deserve it!



should vs deserve

I never liked the word 'should'. Although words may be just words, I find you put a lot behind them, both consciously and unconsciously. To me, 'should' is surrounded by negativity: guilt, frustration, self-doubt. Even when used in a seemingly positive sentence like, "Oh you should go for that job, you are brilliant!". The word adds pressure to the person's decision to make the 'right' choice. But if we eliminate that word, we embrace the opportunities that lie before us, not making either right or wrong, merely a path we choose.

'Deserve' is an amazing word. Just this last week, I started substituting it for the word 'should', to an amazing affect. I found that it gave me a new sense of motivation when I realized I deserved greatness in my life. Honestly, this can apply to all areas. For example, washing dishes is my absolute least favourite chore to do. Too often I find myself having this conversation while sitting on the couch: "Oh, I should do the dishes... but I don't want to... gah but I really should do them..." etc. However, when I say, "I deserve clean dishes!", I'm like "Yeah!! I do!" and set about cleaning them.

I took this and applied it to my writing, my workouts, free-time, the lot! And I have to say I clearly notice a vast improvement, especially in my happiness and feeling of vitality. You all deserve an amazing life, the life you truly want. I challenge you to join me, in a 'should’-free diet!

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16 Comments »


I will embrace this diet tomorrow as I spend 12+ hours surrounded by butter and sugar! It’s the annual baking marathon day!

Comment by Elissa Joy — November 19, 2009 @ 11:00 am


Great post, thanks for that! I’ll start incorporating that substituion into my thoughts…It just goes to show how perspective is everything.

Comment by Vivian — November 19, 2009 @ 11:02 am


Wow. This is EXACLY what I needed to hear today. What an awesome way to change perspective. THANK YOU for this wonderful blog!

Comment by Mandy — November 19, 2009 @ 11:21 am


I love this. We all DESERVE this kind of positive thinking in our lives!

Comment by Suzanne — November 19, 2009 @ 11:22 am


Jenna, what a great post! It it such a simple thing to do and sometimes we all need to be reminded that we have the power to change our way of thinking. Thank you.

Comment by Shawna — November 19, 2009 @ 11:36 am


this is so great!!!

Comment by sheena — November 19, 2009 @ 2:38 pm


i need to start this should-free diet, stat! i deserve it! thanks for sharing jenna and changing my perspective on things.

Comment by Marisa — November 19, 2009 @ 3:15 pm


Isn’t it amazing that such a small change can have such a big impact!
Glad you all loved this post. It is such a great reminder to keep one motivated, positive and focused, as well as enjoying your life :D

Comment by Jenna — November 19, 2009 @ 3:34 pm


Love this! I deserve clean dishes too, come to think of it…

Comment by Michelle @ Find Your Balance — November 19, 2009 @ 4:23 pm


So inspiring!!! i am going to start this diet because we all deserve to be positive!

Comment by Luisa — November 19, 2009 @ 4:37 pm


Yeah!!! we all deserve clean dishes!!!!

Comment by Carlson — November 19, 2009 @ 4:43 pm


Jenna, this is by far my favourite blog post to date!!

Thank you!!!

Comment by Patricia — November 20, 2009 @ 9:28 am


Unbelievable! Thanks so much for that!

Comment by CC — November 20, 2009 @ 9:28 am


Jenna, I think you have a point about using words like “should” in a morally neutral context, such as whether to do a chore or apply for a job. Bringing morally charged terms into a neutral area such as household chores does indeed add unnecessary stress and guilt. On the other hand, words like “should” and “ought” have a valuable role when addressing truly moral areas involving right and wrong. Do we think that damaging the planet and environment is wrong? Then it’s appropriate to say that all socially and environmentally conscious people “should” try to do things like recycle, conserve energy, etc. Do we believe that discrimination against a minority population is wrong? Then, it’s appropriate to say that our laws should protect equal rights (not just that we “deserve” laws that protect equal rights). Do we believe that killing or raping a child is evil and wrong? Then, it’s important for us to say that people should never do such a thing (not just that we all deserve a world without violence). The word “should” serves a valuable purpose when we, as conscientious and moral minded actors, want to point out wrongful and evil acts in the world and point the way toward the right and moral way for people to conduct themselves. Without words like should, everything is cultural relativism. Nothing is wrong; nothing is right. There is no good or evil in the world, only opinions. I prefer a world with some common understanding of right and wrong, a common belief in shared fundamental values about things like protecting rights, life and the environment.

Comment by Tony — November 20, 2009 @ 10:00 am


So very true! Thanks for this post.

Comment by Dawn — November 20, 2009 @ 11:09 am


This is great. It’s amazing how the change of one word can make a difference in your perspective.

Comment by Amber — July 16, 2012 @ 8:16 am


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