You really should…


Many years ago, a man and his son set off with their donkey to walk to market. On the way they passed through several villages.

As they came to the first village the people laughed at them. “You are so stupid”, they said, “one of you should ride the donkey.” That seemed like a good idea, so the son got on the donkey.

Then they came to the second village. “How terrible”, the villagers called out, “forcing an old man to walk while the young man takes it easy. The old man should ride.” So the father and son swapped places.

At the next village they again found themselves the object of ridicule. “Idiots!” the people cried. “You should both ride the donkey!” So they both got on the donkey.

But at the next village the people threw stones. “You should be ashamed of yourselves!” they shouted, “crushing that poor animal! You should carry the donkey, not the other way around!”

You can probably see where this is going. At the next village the people told them they should stop carrying the donkey and simply walk to market. So they did.

Different people will always tell you different ‘shoulds’. You will never be able to satisfy them all.

And in this time of change even your own ‘shoulds’ may no longer apply: the world may simply not work that way any more.

Shoulds and expectations are one of the eight types of ‘mis-blink’ (or mistaken blink-of-an-eye assumptions) that we can all too easily make during a time of churning.

Spotting these mis-blinks is the first step to finding a better alternative. And that means knowing what your priorities are and why they matter to you (as Abraham Lincoln told us).

Once you know this you will find that you can go to market faster, the way you want, and without a sore back.

Adapted from Inner Leadership.

Photo By Klearchos Kapoutsis via

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