In the fall of 2015, my wife Towona and I went to Sedona for the week. We had gone the year before and loved it so we decided to go again to unwind and relax.
One of my favorite ways to relax is on a bicycle. I love the freedom that cycling gives you. It’s just you, the machine and the environment. There’s nothing like getting on a road bike and taking off and riding 30, 50 or 70 miles. Road biking is about endurance and going places.
I love it when we head out from the house in a car and pass some town or intersection 45 minutes later and I can say “I’ve been through here on my bike”. It’s such a good feeling of accomplishment.
But even more than road biking, I love mountain biking. Road biking compared to mountain biking is boring. There’s something about riding through the woods over boulders and stumps and heading downhill through the trees that is just exhilarating. It’s the adrenaline rush you get from pushing the envelope of what you can do…and surviving.
When you research what there is to do in Sedona and you’re a mountain biker, you immediately become aware that Sedona has some of the top trails in the country to ride. Sedona is beautiful! All the red rock and the views! I couldn’t wait to get back on those trails. We’re up there for 5 days and I rent a bike for 3 of those days. Towona doesn’t ride so I didn’t want to leave her by herself the whole time. Give me a little credit!
I rode my favorite trails and tried a couple of new trails. The weather cooperated, mostly. It rained off and one but it was cool which was really nice for riding. My last day of riding the weather was looking iffy. There was a 60% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon so I decided to ride in the morning. I had Towona drop me off at the trailhead and I planned to ride about 12-13 miles while she went to some of the quilting shops in the area.
The ride started off great! I was flying down the trails toward Devils Bridge and the closer I got to Devils Bridge the darker it got.
Let me stop here and ask, Do any of you use the app “Dark Sky”? It’s a great weather app that lets you know when it’s going to rain on you almost to the minute. It’s amazing how accurate the app is.
Dark Sky started telling me to expect rain in 30 minutes. Then I started getting alerts from the Weather Channel app. They have these nice alerts that you know how close lightening is to you. It started dinging to let me know that lightening had struck 5 miles to the west of my location 1 minute ago.
You can see where this is going, right?
The Problem With The Word Should
What should I have done? What did I do? I was almost to Devils Bridge and I could catch another trail that would loop back to the parking area and what are the chances that lightening would strike a guy on a bike, right?
Let’s talk about shoulds. When it comes things we want in life, we have a lot of shoulds, don’t we?
- “I should lose weight.”
- “I should go to the gym.”
- “I should eat healthier.”
- “I should save more money.”
- “I should spend more time with the kids.”
- “I should spend more time with my spouse.”
- “I should turn around and get out of this weather.”
What we end up doing, as Tony Robbins says, Is shoulding all over ourselves. It’s so easy to say we should do something that improves our health, our relationships, our wealth, our careers because a should is not a commitment. A should has no clarity.
Watch Your Language!
Language is powerful, isn’t it? You can change just one word or maybe not even a word, just a comma to change the meaning.
For example, check out this statement:
Woman, without her man, is nothing.
What if we change the punctuation just a little bit:
Woman, without her, man is nothing.
The words we use, even the punctuation we use has power. It has meaning.
Clarity is power. If we want to change an area of our life we need clarity. If you get nothing else out of this post, realize the power of the words you use. The words you tell yourself have meaning.
Instead of saying “I should lose some weight”, say, “I MUST lose some weight”. Just changing one word can change everything in how our mind processes it and how we follow through.
Our inner dialogs, or the conversations we have with ourselves, affect every area of our lives and how we show up in life. Be careful how you talk to yourself! Choose the words wisely. Use empowering words instead and start noticing how your attitude and how your outlook on life will change.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.– Proverbs 4:23