It seems like a good idea, but should you do it? That girl seems like the one for you to marry, but should you marry her? That job seems like the perfect fit for you, but should you fill out the application? That house seems just right, but should you buy it? In life, you would always be faced with separating "could" from "should." Yes, you have the ability to do it, but SHOULD you do it? You COULD, but SHOULD you?
About two years ago, I interviewed with Planet Fitness for a group instructor's position. The interview went so well that the interviewer nearly guaranteed me a position. The hours would have conflicted with other stuff that I was doing. I would have had to miss Wednesday Bible classes and I would have had to terminate my fitness classes at the church on Thursdays. After knowing that the hours would conflict with my other activities, he asked me to call him if I changed my mind. I don't know about you, but when an interviewer asks you to call him back, that should be a mark of honor!
I COULD have worked for Planet Fitness. I COULD have had a more stable job, because at that time, I had NO stable job. But SHOULD I do it? If my number one focus in life was money, then yes, I SHOULD have accepted his invitation to call him back. But money wasn't my main focus. Other things were more important to me, so I never called him back.
The COULD part is easy. If any opportunity presents itself, then you immediately think that it's for you. But the difficult part is the SHOULD -- while you are able to do it, would it be wise to do it? In fact, if I were to define wisdom, it would be the ability to know what you SHOULD do and SHOULDN'T do.
Have you ever asked a teacher, "Ms./Mr. So-So, CAN I go to the bathroom?" just to have that teacher reply, "I don't know? Can you?" Most likely, this was an English teacher teaching you a lesson about grammar. Saying CAN shows the ability to do something. So, if you asked, "Can I go to the bathroom," you're simply asking, "Do I have the ability to go to the bathroom?" The answer will always be YES. You could walk to the bathroom or you could pee in the classroom in front of everybody, but you always have the ability to go to the bathroom. What you need to ask instead is, "MAY I go to the bathroom," which is asking, "Do I have your permission to go to the bathroom?"
You see, you could do anything. You could work anywhere. You could marry anybody. You could have 12 children. You could live in a different country. You could get a hair cut, change your clothes, buy a different car, eat only junk food, exercise for 5 hours a day, etc. The opportunities are endless! But if you don't start asking yourself "SHOULD I do this," then you'll get into trouble. Not addressing the SHOULD part is where regrets happen.
Kids (particularly, those old enough to know better) are notorious for not considering the SHOULD part. As they are still growing and learning, they tend to make a lot of stupid decisions -- and I say "stupid," because most likely they know that what they're about to do is wrong. "Stupidity" happens when you know better, but you decided to make the wrong decision anyway. I've taught kids at both church and at educational institutions, and I would say that any bad decision a child made wasn't made in ignorance. The child KNEW that he was going to make a wrong decision. He or she did it anyway. The kid didn't think about getting in trouble. The kid focused on the COULD, but not the SHOULD.
Several times, I would ask kids, "Is it hard to do the right thing?" They would respond, "No." They know doing right isn't hard. Listening and respecting the teacher isn't hard. Getting your classwork done isn't hard. Asking for help on classwork instead of playing dumb isn't hard. So, why is it that kids still make foolish mistakes such as being class clowns, talking back to a teacher, and not do any homework? Because they CAN. They do what they COULD do. But they never ask themselves if they SHOULD make those decisions. Kids get suspended, expelled, or worst, thrown in jail because they did something that they COULD do without considering if they SHOULD do it.
As long as you live, you will ALWAYS be faced with COULD vs. SHOULD. You could get an attitude with a co-worker at work, but should you? You could move to another state for a new job and take your family from everybody they love, but should you? You could go back to college and get another degree, but should you? You could stay home and not work out, but should you? Before you take another step, consider the SHOULD part. If you think only about the COULD, you would just think about your abilities to do something. When you think about the SHOULD, you start thinking about the future impact of your decision. Yes, you are ABLE to do it, but what would happen IF you do it?
There is a decision you have to make right now, even as you read this message. Before you do it, stop where you are and ask if you're making the right decision. It doesn't matter what your abilities are. What matters is the impact that decision would make on your life. You COULD do anything or be anything you want. But you SHOULDN'T do just anything or be just anything you want.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.