FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 53: Are vs Should Examples

If you think about any element in your life you can probably see an example of the Are vs Should Problem.

Sometimes it looks like indecision or Analysis Paralysis (and see Episode 11: Analysis Paralysis).

Other times it feels like frustration or anger.

In my experience I feel like I am ‘of two minds’ where I hear two competing voices telling me to do entirely different things.

What are the important elements in your life?


  • Should you go to the ballet recital or out with your friends?


  • Should you take the high paying job in a big city or the modest pay in a rural town?


  • Can I afford to buy new golf clubs or put the money toward my kids college fund?


  • Save or spend?


  • Is this about lust or building a life together?

The most obvious example to me is about our jobs and careers.

I believe if you think about any of these things you will feel for yourself that *pull* between the two sides. Almost like the proverbial devil and angel on your shoulder telling you what to do.

Many of us want to paint. Or act. Or write. Or play professional sports.

But the vast majority talk ourselves out of those paths in lieu of a safer route to make enough money to survive.

Because we feel like we *SHOULD* do that.

And many of us then hit midlife, look at ourselves and wonder how the hell we got here.

Here’s the original post with links to the full podcast audio download and the YouTube video: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/07/09/kew-episode-53-are-vs-should-examples/

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FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 50: The Are vs. Should Problem

The beginning of my investigation into the ‘Are vs. Should Problem’, or the struggle many of us experience between the person we ARE and the person we feel like we SHOULD BE.

Have you ever experienced this? Most people I ask say, ‘doesn’t everyone?’. But I really don’t know. All I can say is that I, personally, often feel like I have a natural reaction to a given situation or decision that is intimately coupled with one or more alternative decisions. Usually that first inclination comes from what I feel is ‘me’, while the alternatives come from . . . somewhere else.

I believe we get ‘shoulded’ by our families, our churches, our schools, our jobs, our neighborhoods, our cultures, and other ‘outside’ sources.

And by ‘shoulded’, I mean that we are taught norms and rules that we are supposed to obey, whether they make sense to us or not. And the struggle, or the dissonance, occurs when our ‘feelings’ differ from what we are taught.

The example I always use, and what started it for me, is about work. Most of us are taught that we have to work at least 40 hours a week at some kind of 9-5 job in order to live our lives. Personally, I have always rejected this notion and am convinced there is another way. I don’t understand why so many institutions impose this sort of norm. My ‘are’ says I can justify my existence, make a contribution to society, and earn money to support myself by working 20-30 hours a week on my own schedule as long as i get my work done. And usually this is MORE than most people would do in their 40 hour 9-5. But, the ‘should’ of the career world just doesn’t support this notion and I have a conflict. And a struggle.

Maybe that’s a bad example, but I go into much more depth in this episode and the following 18, so far, where I get into the details.

Original post here: https://chrisburcher.com/2021/06/18/kew-episode-50-are-vs-should/

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KEW Episode 11: Analysis Paralysis

You definitely know about this one. So many choices when making a decision that you get overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, sometimes, that you can’t even MAKE the decision and end up stuck; paralyzed. Mostly, I think, it’s fear that keeps us stuck. Kind of like the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

But I think the biggest contributor to the old AP is believing there is only one right answer. I don’t think that’s true. Moreso, choosing to believe that isn’t true can greatly reduce the need to over analyze.

Podcast audio:

Youtube video: