Have To or Get To
I hope you had a great holiday week and enjoyed taking note of summer's simple pleasures. Holidays let us pause and get off the hamster wheel of life to breathe. Or if you were entertaining family, rest and decompress now.
This week, I want to invite you to notice times when you dread doing something. It may be going to work, doing household chores, or caring for others. Some of us may be in the habit of thinking, "today I have to..." but what if we switched that to "today I get to...." - can you imagine the quick dose of energy that would surge if you GET to do something instead of HAVE to do something??
Here is a practice to experiment with this week. Let me know what you notice!
Switch Your "Have To" to "Get To"
1. Make quick list of the things you feel like you have to do. Here are some ideas to get you started: going to work, grocery shopping, making meals, laundry, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, homework, taking care of others, paying bills.
2. Now consider why you have to do those things - you have a job, home, family, children, backyard, friends, utilities.
3. The next time you notice you are feeling like you "have to" do something, consider that you "get to" do it because you have a life you dreamed of, prayed for, and worked to build. So, you actually get to do these things that at one point you were hoping you could do.
4. Replace your "have to" with "get to" and notice how much less dread, obligation, or resentment you feel. When we feel we have a choice and we "get to" do something, we naturally feel more energy and pleasure in doing that task.
I notice the need for this practice often in my life!
Here are some ways I apply it:
I have to go to the gym....I am healthy, strong, feeling good, and get to go to the gym to get stronger.
I have to do laundry...I get to fold these little clothes for two miracle children I prayed and hoped for.
I have to eat less carbs...I get to eat beautiful salads full of fresh ingredients this summer.
I have to pay bills...I get to have electricity, air conditioning, and water at the push of a button.
I have to go to work...I get to make an impact today.
This can be a powerful practice to reset our perspectives and shift us into a place of gratitude rather than self-pity. And, as we all know, when we live in gratitude, life gets better.
Here is a beautiful story of a man who gets to go to work. I'm going to try to be more like Benny this week!