What’s the best idea you’ve had that you have not yet acted on? Do you ever wrestle with that question? The truth is most of us don’t. We don’t like to wrestle with a question like that because it reminds us that we are not doing something that we think we should be doing. Perhaps we’ve seen others acting on the same idea and enjoying the benefits of having decided to implement and it got our juices flowing. “I should be doing that” is how things usually start.

Here’s an example:

My buddy, Leighton, started losing weight. I met him for lunch one day and he’d lost about 20 pounds since I’d last seen him. I should be doing that was what came to mind. I asked him how he was succeeding at losing weight and he told me, with precision, what his weight loss program was.

I should do that I thought to myself, taking a bite of my cheeseburger as Leighton ate his salad.

As I drove home from lunch, I should be doing that was prominent in my mind. At the time I weighed about 250lbs and attributed my weight to being big boned, had the frame of a linebacker, etc.

I was overweight because the best idea I’d come up with, thus far, was that I should lose some weight. The better idea came later that week when I decided that 200lbs was what I wanted to weigh.

I got up to 250lbs because I didn’t make any decisions other than what I wanted to eat. I got to 200lbs because I decided that I wanted to weigh 200lbs and acted accordingly. With great specificity I literally ate my weight down 50lbs.

Ironically, I gained a bunch of the weight back because, you guessed it, I started thinking that I should be able to eat whatever I want again.

“I should” is the key here.

Should is a word that opens the floodgates of mediocrity. And when we attach ourselves or our life plans to the word should, watch out. There’s a should-storm coming your way and it’ll wash over you effortlessly.

Want to guarantee failure in your plans? Just add the word should and you’ll find yourself lamenting the fact that you didn’t quite make it.

Decide to ruthlessly remove the word should and, in its place, insert specifics, detailed timelines, definitive actions and such; your chances of success are incalculably improved. I’d bet the farm on a decided heart any day of the week!

Should = Failure to launch. It’s a cowardly word that oozes with self-pity. Replace should with DECIDED.

Count and measure the cost of deciding, then move forward. You’ll have arrived at your decided destination with a courageous and full heart.

Decided people are whole hearted, courageous and faith-filled people. They aren’t perfect but they see the world differently and they change the world for the better.

Live with a decided heart today, friends. I’m cheering for you!

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