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"Mustobeytion!" Monday September 5, 2016

Believe me, it sounded worse than it looks when written. "Excuse me?" I said to the lovely lady who said the offending word, unsure that I was hearing correctly.

"Mustobeytion!" she re-asserted with a grin, and continued, "This is many people's problem!"

The lady who shared what I first thought was an uncomfortable, borderline 'offensive' word, was perhaps the most politically correct and respectful person I'd ever met at the Industrial Society. This word, spoken by her, had added shocking impact because of her impeccable manners and deeply ethical stance on life. She had my attention.

"Tell me more," I invited...

She went on to explain that may people are driven by alien imperatives:

"Must" and "Ought" and "Should"

This inner tyranny drove them to obey other people's values as if they must - hence "Mustobeytion".

My friend emotively highlighted the power of feeling compelled to live by someone else's values. Some believe the pathway to creating an inspired and fulfilling life begins with examining these values.

Now let's agree that these imperatives may actually turn out to be perfectly appropriate and aligned with our own core values. As was reputedly said by Socrates at his trial, accused of impiety and corrupting youth, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

The key is to test everything - to examine all those 'ought' and 'should' and 'must' statements we make to see if they really are a belief or value we truly subscribe to.
Perhaps some examples will help?

"I ought not to swear!"
"I should mind my manners!"
"I must obey the Government!"

Ought and should and must statements are usually logically valuable - hence they usually go unchallenged. However, if you fail to follow the oughts and shoulds and musts that you mentally assent to, it may mean that you've adopted a value that your heart hasn't agreed with. The result is often a bad feeling, self-criticism, even self-condemnation. Time to break free.

Ask yourself, "Is this a value that I really subscribe to from my heart?"

You won't be surprised to hear that "need" is another word in this family of tyrants. "I need to be a better parent." The challenge is simple:

"What would happen if you weren't a good parent?"
or "What would happen if you didn't obey the Government?"

The answer to these kinds of questions will help you decide whether the value you are seeking to follow is one native to your heart or an alien imperative that should be expelled. The result is an "examined life" that will be far more worth living. I find it fascinating that Tony Robbins and, even more so, Richard Bandler (co-developer of NLP) certainly have challenged the alien imperatives not to swear and to mind their manners! As for me and my house, we're happy to mind our manners and watch what we say... from the heart!

Shall we let my friend from, what was The Industrial Society, have the final word? Her parting shot was to declare how she challenged others who tried to force their values on her. She would say, overly loudly, "Did you just 'Should' on me?"

This kind of strong intervention requires a firm relationship, a sense of assertiveness, clarity around one's own values, a twinkle in your eye, and a great deal of rapport! Happy hunting!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Tychi's Mum Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 4:21am

Wow Lex....what a blog. I feel as though it was written just for me. I have only just become aware of all the "must, oughts and shoulds" that go on in my mind.
Your blog was so inspiring that i have printed it off to read and re-read.
Thank you Lex.

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 5:28am

You've made my day, Tychi's Mum xx

Chris Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:28am

Great! So true, thank you. (And you made me smile at 6.28 in the morning, can't be bad!)

Chris Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:28am

Great! So true, thank you. (And you made me smile at 6.28 in the morning, can't be bad!)

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:54am

Result!!! Smiling at 6:28 may well lead to grinning all day, Chris... that's my hope, wish and imperative for you today (and for all of us) Lx!

Duma Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:31am

Hi Lex. I just loved the term 'alien imperatives'.

I call these 'wild, untamed words' what they are - demons.

Or, if I am feeling in a rechSpeak kinda place - APCs.

Autonomous Personality Constructs.

Some actions have consequences - to take your example of not obeying the police, well now, they carry weapons and have the legal authority to beat you up, or worse...

I love the anarchist's sentiment. You can do whatever you want. But so can I, and that includes interfering with your actions. "And do what thou will shall be the whole of the law!"

I feel a blog coming on, thanks Lex.

Cheers, Duma (who minds his Ps and Qs, lol)

Duma Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:36am

techSpeak - what an ironic typo. Actual lol!

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:49am

I love typos (usually!) They can be so creative. Think Neil Gaiman's mistyping of "Caroline" which came out as "Coraline"! Cool name, he thought... and the rest is history!

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:51am

So, Dear Duma, I'm looking forward to your blog! Ps and Qs aside, alien imperatives banished to the dark side of the moon (from whence they came), let's hear more about Autonomous Personality Constructs!!! Thank you ! Lx

Duma Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:14am

You are most welcome Lex.

Duma Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 3:25pm

Check out my later reply, please. Cheers, Duma.

Hopeful One Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:57am

Hi Lex- thanks for a timely reminder of 'couldaoughtashoulda' tyranny- the three sticks the Inner Critic often employs to beat one with.It is noticeable that these three words often appear in conversation when one is talking to someone who is depressed.

The Joke Squadron was tempted to dig out a joke involving the borderline offensive word but decided against it on the grounds that it might not be appropriate for a public forum.

At a big cocktail party, an obstetrician's wife noticed another guest, a big, oversexed blonde, was making overtures at her husband. But it was a large, informal gathering, so she tried to laugh it off, until she saw them disappear into a bedroom together. At once she rushed into the room, pulled the two apart and screamed, "Look, lady! My husband just delivers babies, he doesn't INSTALL them!"

LillyPet Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:20am

Great dose of vitamin L this morning HO! Thanks :) LP xx

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:46am

Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! And I like "Vitamin L" - nice ones Hopeful and LillyPet xx

the room above the garage Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:04am

Vitamin L! Genius LP! Love it HO :-)

LillyPet Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:34pm

:) :)) xxx

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:39pm

I like the analogy of the "three sticks" - Hopeful One - thank you. {Of course, Led Zep did a track called, "Four Sticks" - so what would the fourth be??? "Need"???? Lx

LillyPet Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:54am

Hi Lex,

Strangely, I have had a strange mix of putting any and everybody's whims on my to do list and resisting being told what to do by certain "authority" figures! Both unhealthy, but I wont give myself any musts oughts or shoulds!

Instead It's nice to think about what one wants. "I want to decide my own prioroties" feels better than what I should (but don't really want!) to do.
A very timely blog for me returning to work today Lex, I'm inspired to think about and choose my responses if anyone tries to "should me"! :) Thank you! Warm wishes to all LP xx

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 8:25am

Yes, LP, and like an LP you can choose your speed too! The days of 78 rpm are well past, and when I was single, 45 rpm may have seemed like fun, but now, as I mature, I like a sedate 33 (and a third) rpm - be gentle with yourself today, LillyPet, and set the pace your magnificent self. All the best for your return to work. xx

LillyPet Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 7:45pm

Thanks Lex! Lol! I remember playing LPs and 45s too! Had a good 1st day back than you. Got what I wanted done and resisted "jumping" to squeeze extra meetings in this week twice! ;) Great blog, thanks LPxx

LillyPet Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:39pm

Typo, "thank"

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:42pm

Oh, I'm SO glad you had a good 1st day back. Don't let 'em squeeze you - stay strong xx

Jul Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 8:02am

Really fabulous blog Lex. I love the Socrates quote. I think I do anyway. Will have to think about this one. You made me chuckle. A big thank you. Jules xx

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 8:25am

Making you chuckle, Jules, makes my day worthwhile! xx

DAVE Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 8:05am

Hi Lex,
Excellent blog, couldn't have put it better myself...

I wholeheartedly agree. I spend a lot of time questioning authoritative persons who clam to know what can and can't be done.
There have been countless instances and successful outcomes....for example :-

A plumber advised me that because of a leak in the top water container above the loo was leaking, that the manufacturers does not make a 1/2 inch copper pipe, that I would have to have a new loo, this ment changing the WHOLE BATHROOM SUITE ! !

My reaction was to drill the water carrying porcelain bowl. "It can't be done" he said, I said....have you tried before ? He said look "I've been in business for 40 years, and I'm telling you it can't be done" ! !

I said...have you got a drill, I spent the next 15 minutes very carefully chipping out and drilling out the 1/2 inch hole to 3/4 inches.....aghast he stood watching over me saying he really couldn't believe what he was seeing.....The hole was drill perfectly....

I said afterwards, don't believe all you hear, think logically, as why others are so adamant, and then put those thoughts into action, you will amaze yourself.

Over the years, in a very humble attitude I've proved many wrong with this "It can't be done attitude', Engineers, Hospital Health specialists, Lawyers, Insurance companies, wrong about 'Hand-me-down directives, borne down through the ages, leading everyone to assume that their forefathers were correct.

As stated in a previous blog, trust no one, but your own heart, always ask questions, as to why you should take this drug, ask what are the natural alternatives.

Once we question others in 'The Know', we will find that our self-confidence will rocket.

Good luck.


Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 8:31am

This is awesome, Dave. Let's not let others hide behind a veneer of "Authority" - thanks for the practical and persuasive example. Lx

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 12:14pm

I love that, Dave! Most of my successes in life have been achieved with a "Of course I can do that!" attitude. I have just done it. And then listened to all the people who told me how difficult it was and how it couldn't be done.... If I'd listened to them first I would never have done it!

Lou Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:04am

What an excellent blog! I nodded along in agreement all the way through and am sharing it on with others I know with the same compulsion to obey! Thank you for some provocative and helpful words ;)

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:43pm

Hi Lou, you are SO welcome. Thanks for sharing, and also for encouraging me. Lx

the room above the garage Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:09am

Hello Lex! I've been thinking about you, and here you are :-) Love today's blog. I don't always agree with some teachers at school but I'm careful not to stir rebellion from my kids. May I file 'mustobeytion' for future chats with them?!!! :-) love ratg x.

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:44pm

Hi RATG... file wherever is most resourceful. Use with passion. Withhold with Wisdom. Share with panache! xx

The Gardener Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:49am

Hi Lex - blog interesting?inspiring?thought provoking? Yes to all. And a parallel with someone here who has trouble with a 'Fraulein Should'. But I have a 'must'. People keep on saying to me 'you must have a life'. Particularly annoying from people who know my situation well - feel like saying 'I'd like to spend the evening in the local bar, will you sit with Mr G, entertain him, listen to his eternal moaning and get him to bed? I know the answer. I blew up this morning (Vesuvius got nothing on me at the moment) and cited our blind neighbour - radio so important - she had help but she lived alone and coped. Then a friend hit by Parkinsons, within a year he could not speak or write, whilst remaining compos mentis. Another neighbour, his wife did my mending and ironing (she would not clean, that was demeaning, you were a 'char'). She had a stroke - lived for ten more years, reasonably mobile but never recovered speech. Her husband looked after her with extreme devotion, and committed suicide shortly after her death. Trying to use these to demonstrate to Mr G that our life is not so bad is useless - his self-pity is the biggest cross I have to bear. So I do have MUSTS - get back my self-respect - eating and drinking too much - generates depression and self-disgust - concentrate on concentrating (sounds stupid) but it means ignoring Mr G, because no chance he will respect that I am doing something difficult. Agree with RATG - one of our grandchildren was much affected by her mother's outspoken criticism and rude descriptions of her teachers (Fat cow a favourite). Parralel with parents not presenting a united front on discipline - child feels first, undermined, then proceeds to drive a wedge between parents. Will shut up, using Moodscope again. The great thing, a comfort when I blast off moany e-mails, you can say 'not her again', wipe it or move on to something more interesting.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 12:17pm

Sending you an encouraging hug. I don't know if you have rain over where you are, but we have and the garden is much refreshed for it. I pray for rain for your soul. Also, yes, sometimes we comfort ourselves with food and drink. My therapist always pointed out that it was much less damaging than some of the alternatives!

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:48pm

Dear Gardener, once again we are more aligned than perhaps we realise. "Must" is wonderful - powerful - potent. It simply 'must' be used by us in alignment with our values. One of the keys is to test the values that sit behind each 'must' or 'ought' or 'should' or 'need' - to check it really is one of ours and not an impostor posing as one of ours! BIG hug xx

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 12:18pm

Oh yes, the couldaoughtashoulda stick! I like this one. Thank you.

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:53pm

Hey, Hopeful One will let you get three sticks out of your one! You could really have a party... or not!!! Lx

Graeme Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 3:08pm

Brilliant, Lex! Thank you so much for this excellent reminder. I would hope that deeply ethical ladies with impeccable manners could also speak freely about masturbation on occasion.

S Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:49pm

I agree Graeme!

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:53pm

Actually, Graeme, this particular lady could have spoken convincingly about any subject! Lx

Duma Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 3:21pm

Hi Lex. Y'all will never publish it, it's too long.

So here it is:


Demons, eh? (Flexes knuckles reflexively.)

Demons are a constant, an ever present part of the human experience and I will hunt down and destroy each and every one I encounter.

"What the hell?", I hear you say, "What happened to Duma?", "He's so scientific, what's all this about killing demons?"

Here comes the 'personal' part: Some facts about Demonic nature.

Demons are as real today as they have ever been.

Demons take the same form that they always have.

Demons are unreal, elusive and have their own 'dimension', which they return to, until they affect our reality again.

Demons are words.

And that is all they are.

Words that scare us, or make us think we can take advantage or make us think that WE HAVE A RIGHT!

Big, scary-ass words like 'Death', 'Fear', 'Evil', 'Decay' or 'Rightous'.

Demonic possession is simply a case of a person getting so hung up on a word that they behave in an impossible to explain manner that distresses and destroys.

This is why KNOWING A DEMON'S TRUE NAME is always so important in the stories that relate to them. If you know this true name (the word that IS the Demon) you can beat it, it will have no power over you and you can 'drive out that demon' by interacting with the person affected, destroying that 'special meaning' that that word has in their heads.

Taking down the little versions, inside peoples heads, one at a time, is a very rewarding pursuit, but, as ways to save the world go, it takes forever... you have to take the fight to them, kill them where they live.

In their own dimension, in the OVERMIND/EXTELLIGENCE?DREAMLANDS.

To do that you have to fight with the 'Holy Weapons', large and small.

With urban legends, stories and off the cuff explanations.

With 'whatever it takes'.

It just takes one person to stand before the 'big bad' demon and fight to the death, for principle alone.

If he devotes his life to this demon, you get a hero, like Mohammed Ali.

If he takes it down and swings his (figurative) sword to the next one, without drawing breath and fights his whole life, one after another...

...and NEVER thinks it too many.

Then you have 'The Champion' again, as it should be.

For he will kill them all, even after death, when he becomes an icon to his people, eternal, all heroes at once.

That is the essence of this role - he fights so that you don't have to.

And he doesn't 'do' people, demons only.

Of course, some people can't suvive without their demons, but then, they weren't that alive in the first place, so no heartbreaking loss.

The heartbreak comes with the seperation that exists between The Champion and the people he loves so.

It is inevitable, every normal person has a thousand baby demons - words that are special to them, things they believe.

The Champion has lived his life, tooth and claw, destroying these 'creatures', these 'Autonomous Personality Constructs' that are the stuff of people's hopes and dreams.

These 'tame' words and ideas are the natural fauna of their minds and they look upon this individual as a rabbit looks at a Sabre Tooth Tiger, knowing there's just enough 'meat' on them to make them worth the cat's time.

These ideas try not to draw attention to themselves, as a result.

So, everyone is guarded and distant to The Champion, even if they love him.

The Champion has to not mind this, or think the reward worth the price.

He has to like people, but not need them, because he will always be alone with his War, even in the heart of his own family's parties.

Because its an all or nothing deal, always has been, always will be...

...the demons will be back, because of the nature of the overmind. They are just another form of life and they will always regenerate, because they can 'benefit' the people that cling to them.

So The Champion must be watchful and upset people, always.

That is why he must always be a barbarian, uncouth.

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:58pm

Duma... I shall read this over and over again and consider your messages. Particularly relevant given the word of my name. Lx

Duma Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 1:45am

You liked it. Excellent! I have 300 more, pre-written. Watch this space... Duma, out.

Belgian Car Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 3:28pm

Wow Lex! You've just made me understand I've been musterbating for years, doing everything right, and wondering when the - ahem - satisfaction is going to come! Very liberating. Now I'm waving bye-bye to being a great parent, and off to write my novel.

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:31pm

Wonderful to think a novel will be birthed and children neglected in the great wheel of life and liberty, Belgian Car. They will thank you for it... maybe! Lx

The Gardener Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:01pm

Thanks Mary for the hug - rain saved me a lot of work and my lawn, like everybody else's, has turned green. Coping with extreme difficulty - the geriartric doctor warned me Mr G would treat me as a 'sponge' to absorb all he rejects - also like a slave or a dog. He has also become a leech - the 'possession' is driving me bonkers. I wrote an article for both church magazines on 'Who do we trust'. It was not who we should obey, or the 'should element'. It was probity? Does that make sense? I cited priest, solicitor, school teacher, parents(!), bank managers - people, often in suits, ones elders, naturally - who were responsible, educated, 'put in authority' by virtue of their position. The article arose from attending church services on both sides of the channel in a week. In the C of E we pray for the Queen and those 'put in authority' under her. No such thing for government officials here - although important questions of the day are covered by the prayers of intercession - including praying for wisdom and tolerance in those who have to make the decisions. It is difficult not to be cynical of 'those in authority' refer HO's vitamin L today - are they all liars, got their hand in the till - molesting schoolboys etc etc. Am listening to the news -

The Gardener Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 6:13pm

Left in the middle, grand-son phoned - the news does not reduce ones cynicism - nor comfort us who are resident abroad and have no idea what the Brexit shenanigans will bring - enough - but vaguely related to the blog - should, oughts, obey, trust.

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:02pm

And the best word to conclude with. Yes, "trust." Or perhaps, "Trust until..."

S Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 9:48pm

Thanks Lex, this has given me some things to think about. There are values that I think are right but I find hard to uphold. There are things I expect from others because I expect them of myself and I know that this expectation often does not help any of us! Sx

Lex Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:04pm

Hi S, sometimes we just need to move from an either/or to a both/and... and be more gentle, merciful, forgiving, tolerant... easy for me to say until I'm let down by someone. Lx

Skyblue Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:40pm

Best blog EVER, Lex. Genius! Big hug and thank you. xx

S Mon, Sep 5th 2016 @ 10:44pm

I like that Lex, either/or to both/and - simple way of looking at the greys and colours in between the black and white (thinking). I think it was you who talked about using and rather than but (apologies to you and the author if not)- I think that has helped me. You made me smile with your easy for me to say- sharing this helps us know that we all struggle with this. Sx

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