Are You A 'Could' Or 'Should' Person?

Published Dec 19, 2022

Act or React

When adversity was at its peak during my university days, my behaviour was reactive, meaning I would always act based on the environment as it happened. Having just about overcome one situation, another would be ready in line. It was never-ending, and I hated it.

It was crippling because I never felt I couldn't actively engage in something I wanted to pursue. I was acting based on necessity, doing what was needed to see another day.

Funnily enough, I believed in the future; I knew I was made for something more. So what kept me going was the possibility of being something more than a failure, a nobody that deserved more. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've realised how completing those needed tasks was a MUST for me to survive.

My actions are based on what's possible, but only if it's a necessary piece to my path forward, one that I have come to establish for myself. Yup, Peoplepreneur® is what I'm speaking about.

We all have what we call a Meta Program that governs how we make decisions and what we are covering today is one of those internal programs; Possibility or Necessity.

Making decisions - Pull or Push

When you can establish how you make decisions, you'll be able to take action with the right type of motivation. Firstly, determine what kind of trigger gets you going; pulled towards something or pushed away. In other words, are you generally running towards something or moving away from it?

Examples of a Towards

  • Going to Mcdonald's because the kids love it.
  • Saying yes to jumping off a plane for the adrenaline.
  • Buying that new car because you'll look good

Examples of Away-From

  • Taking that job you didn't want because you need to pay bills.
  • Leaving home 30 mins earlier to avoid the traffic build-up
  • Buy a carrot and hummus instead of a cake, just in case you put on a 1lb

Think about how you typically make a decision. Are you usually going towards pleasure or away from pain? When you know, study the chart below, determine how you sort buy either taking action being a necessity or possibility.

Meta Model - Possibility or Necessity

The horizontal axis [#1] determines what motivates you.

The vertical axis [#2] establishes how you mentally sort.

Based on what action you need to take, in some cases, it will be determined by where you sit on this chart. So let's assume the example from above:

Going to Mcdonald's because the kids love it.

Based on what triggers Sarah (a hypothetical name), She's Simon's mother in this example, and how she sorts based on necessity or possibility, the outcome may look something like this:

Chart: Sarah’s decision making based on Simon’s failed exam results
Example Decision-Making Based On Motivation

Notice that based on what motivates Sarah, towards or away and how she mentally sorts based on necessity or possibility will determine how we reach McDonald's, particularly what action she takes.

Try it yourself; I'm sure you have something to do today. Where would you say you are on the chart above? How will you make a decision based on this sorting?

There is no right or wrong way of making a decision here. I am merely showing you a meta-model that perhaps plays a role in your decision-making. When we know we can learn to push ourselves into action.

Trigger Questions

Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to make this decision.

Towards Pleasure / Possibility

Can you imagine what life could be like if I took action now?

Away-From Pain / Possibility

How might it get worse if I do not commit now?

Towards Pleasure / Necessity

What positives can I take advantage of right now?

Away-From Pain / Necessity

Why should I wait until the worst moment to take action?

Your Verbal Language

Within our speech, we can determine which program is running.

A necessity person uses words that include:

Need to, have to, got to, must, should, ought to, do it, it's time.

"I have to get my essay writing up before Monday"
"We need to leave, darling; let's go"
"You have to try this sauce; it makes the food taste better"

A possibility person uses words that include:

Can do, will do, want to, may do, try to, it is possible, choose to, able to.

"What if we tried to change the approach? That might work?"
"It will work, trust me"
"That's fine. I can do it myself."

Anks Patel

Peoplepreneur’s Empowerer

Founder, Growth Coach, People Developer, Strategist,Unconventional Thinker, Aligner, Clarifier