A Terrible Case of “Should-Be”

I’m sure we’ve all had this feeling before: the feeling that at certain points in our lives, we “should be” doing certain things or “should have” accomplished certain things.

I’m 16. I should be getting my driver’s license and a car.

I’m 18. I should be graduating from high school and going to college.

I’m 21. I should be graduating from college and looking for a job or going to grad school.

I’m 25. I should have a well-paying job and be moved out of my parents’ house.

I’m 35. I should be married and have kids.

And it goes on and on and on. We shouldn’t evaluate our life based on what we think “should be.” Who’s telling us it “should be” this way? The media? The news? Society? Friends? Family?

Everyone’s path in life is different because every person is different. This all sounds incredibly obvious, but it’s amazing how many people still fall into the “should be” trap.

As long as you are happy with what you have in life, no matter where you are in life, you’re fine. It’s about being true to yourself, not about being true to others’ expectations.

13 thoughts on “A Terrible Case of “Should-Be”

  1. I think it’s a combination of all of the outside forces that you mentioned. Those pressures can be maddening, especially when it’s family because we don’t want to let our parents down. But you are right, you have to do things at your own pace. Life would be boring if we did what everyone else wanted all the time!


  2. Hey, if I was going to be an adult, according to schedule, I’d probably have to give up reading comic books. Which I’ve been reading regularly since 1965. 🙂

    I think in general I wouldn’t be having as much fun, as a matter of fact.


  3. We are easily influenced and manipulated by others . . . especially if we are not mindful of the choices we are making.

    Here’s to tending our own gardens!


    • That’s true. If you don’t have a good grasp of what you want, then you’re more easily influenced into wanting what others want.


  4. Yeah, most of the time our lives are driven by the whims and fancies of outside influential forces, but not by our own desires and abilities.
    It’s very nice of you to come up with a food for thought, about ‘being true to yourself.’



  5. Very true. That’s how our life should be. But it would be easy only if we could stop
    1. having expectations about others,
    2. setting norms for us and for others.


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