The Search for Glory and The Tyranny of Should


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You are sunshine and you deserve as bright as you should. You belong up high in the sky and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I hope you keep that in mind. I am also out here being a beautiful star that I am so lets go!!!

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I will be analyzing this book while putting some of my own story in it. I hope you learn something from it. Please check the book below. I would appreciate it if you read it and share your understanding too. Please read other blogs on the analysis of ‘The Defining Decade here.

The Search for Glory and The Tyranny of Should

“Others dream too big, fueled more by fantasies about limitless possibilities than by experience. Part of realizing our potential is recognizing how our particular gifts and limitations fit with the world around us. We realize where our authentic potential actually lies.” 

Meg Jay

I don’t know how I came about with the idea that I was made for greatness. Maybe it was my paternal grandfather who would always tell me how precious I was and that I was meant to be great. Whatever the reason that I believe that I am meant for greatness. It is a beautiful thing, but it is sometimes my biggest weakness. I have always gone for the things that the society considered great; look at my desire to be a big city lawyer, cardiologist, or mechanical engineer. All these desires came from a place where the world had told me that this is what was great and I had to aspire to be that. This is what is called the ‘Search for Glory’. There are many people who are doing courses that are not their passion because the world told them that those are best.

Now that I have already figured that I want to do something artsy and serve a community. I now suffer from the tyranny of should where I have all these rules that I feel pressure to follow. One of the biggest should that I feel is that I should focus on school and my career first. The truth I am always afraid to admit that I hope to settle down with a family at 28, 29, or 30. This is because the new society with the feminist woman often has little or no place for a woman aspiring to have a family. It is almost taboo to say this among my friends. I know that I want to get a master’s in some country abroad and maybe travel the world. But then again, I’m not too fond of change; I have barely integrated into the Rwandan culture where I currently live. Do I really want to travel the world or say it because it looks like the better option than settling?

In her book ‘The Defining Decade,’ Meg Jay introduces the idea of the search for Glory and the Tyranny of the Should, where she compares ‘shoulds’ and goals. ‘Shoulds’ masquerade themselves as goals or high standards. Shoulds feel like obligations and like we have to do them because we should. They are not authentic at all. In your twenties, it is very easy to feel like you need to have the grandest goals and plans, and if that is authentic to you, that’s okay. Beware of looking for glory among your peers, parents, or society and follow your authentic desire. Shoulds will make you feel like you have to be successful in your twenties but know that twenties allow you to start, and you are probably not going to be a CEO in your twenties, but starting with making coffee in your firm might just lead you there. Figure out what you want and work towards it. Here’s to believing that one day every ounce of work that you do will one day pay off.

I didn’t do Meg Jay’s book justice with this short analysis of this chapter, please do buy and read the book here.


What tyranny of should and search for glory do you suffer from?


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With Loooooove and Sunshine 💖🌞💖🌞, Jackie

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Wonani says:

    “Beware of looking for glory among your peers, parents, or society and follow your authentic desire.”

    My favourite part. One of my recent struggles has been regarding a Master’s degree. Almost all my friends intend to do their Master’s right after the undergrad and I don’t want that. I just want to go home and rest but then I started thinking maybe I should study for my masters right after I’m done. Lol.
    “Shoulds” I love that.
    Thanks for this

    1. jackie says:

      I relate to the masters struggles too. I often feel pressure to do all these grand things that I sometimes don’t even want. Thank you for reading and I am glad it gave you something to think about.

  2. Hello 👋 great post! Loved reading it. Love the ideas and method of writing and everything! Love your energy.

    1. jackie says:

      Thank you for the Kind words.

  3. I just emailed you about the book Life after freedom. Kindly read it and let me know what you think. Link to the book is

    1. jackie says:

      Okay I will. Then do a review on it once I am done with the current book Review.

      1. Sounds great 👍

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