Posted by Russ Irwin

Posted on 6th Dec, 2016

Turning “Shoulds” into “Musts”: The Path to Peak PerformanceWhen you believe you “should” do something, there is a good chance you won’t. When you believe you should do something, you still allow the door to remain open for options – you have removed the sense of urgency.

Stop for a moment and recall some of the things in your life you thought you should do. Now add up how many of them you actually did; chances are there are not very many.

Now do the same with all the things you knew you must do, things you had a since of urgency about with absolutely no room for negotiations. You knew that you must do this and you became like a train, racing down a track with a thousand horsepower of pure certainty. How many of these things did you see to fulfillment? The chances are quite high that you completed the majority, if not all of them.

So what was the difference?

The difference was the certainty, the sense of urgency you felt when you simply moved your situation from a “should” to a “must”. When you made the shift from the “should” to the “must” mindset, you gained leverage over the old patterns of beliefs or behaviours that you needed to change.

If you want to perform at your peak, reach the successes you are capable of, and build teams that do the same, it’s time to shift your thinking and leverage the “must” mindset. This is how breakthroughs are made. Simply by moving your “shoulds” to “musts” interrupts the pattern you or your company is presently in.

When you interrupt your pattern, you become open to change. Transitions and change are especially difficult for people (and businesses) when they are stuck in a specific pattern. We all live our lives through beliefs and behaviors. As you will learn through my blogs (or through peak performance coaching), when you learn to interrupt your patterns, you begin to position yourself for lasting change.

Before today ends, let’s settle the issue of the “should” versus the “must” as it relates to achieving your personal and professional goals and dreams. Settle the issue of where you have allowed your life to go and whether you will live by the design of those around you and their definition of your identity, or begin (remember: you must) to live your life according to your design. When you live by another’s design you limit yourself to their vision of your life, their creativity, and their level of power.

path to peak performanceWhen you surrender to the knowledge that your life has powerful potential, that there is a meaning to your existence which involves more than traveling through the mundaneness of the day-to-day grind, then you can declare yourself ready for change with courage. The moment you declare yourself ready for change, you begin the process of removing the self-imposed chains holding you back from harnessing your potential. You begin to break free and feel truly alive.

When the chains of personal constraint fall off, you develop a new sense of clarity that allows you to see that there is more ahead than previously imagined and you feel an internal permission to dream again. It costs you nothing to dream big but it could cost you everything to dream small.

So let’s settle this issue NOW. Creating an extraordinary life and reaching your peak performance is non-negotiable; taking your business to the next level is no longer an option. There is no longer a “should” change but a “must” change.

I encourage you to stop reading now and settle some things in your thoughts or write some things down – then do it. Whatever you do, don’t let this moment passively pass by. Make the shift.

I will no longer live by my “shoulds”, but by my “musts”.


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Russ Irwin

About Russ Irwin

Russ is a highly sought after executive and business coach due to his unique qualifications and talents, including 17 years of entrepreneurial success, over 9 years of executive coaching experience, as well as a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Master’s in Behavioural Sciences. Russ is also an experienced international keynote conference and seminar speaker.