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Do You Really Have To?

“Life is a Get To, not a Have To.”  ~ Anthony Robbins

How many of us go through our days overwhelmed by all we “have to” do?  Our minds constantly thinking of all the things we have to get done.  How often do we just “get by”, doing the bare minimum to get done what we have to, but not giving our best?  We skate.  We feel overwhelmed, stressed out, tired…sometimes even carrying these things around like a badge of honor.  I mean look at all we “have to” do.  We begrudgingly do many of the things on our “To Do” lists, as if our lives are not our own.

What if a simple change in language can completely change our perception?  What if we GET TO?  What if we WANT TO?

  • What if you “get to” go to work today?
  • What if you “get to” exercise today?
  • What if you “get to” eat healthy today?
  • What if you “get to” spend time with your children today?
  • What if you “get to” learn something new today in a class or on your own?
  • What if you “get to” clean your lovely home and make it nicer to be there?
  • What if you “get to” work with someone on your team at work or a friend or a stranger today?
  • What if you “get to” give a presentation that makes a difference, initiates a needed change, or solves a problem?

Ahhh, cosmic justice…I just “got to” be interrupted from writing this to clean up dog puke.  I had to laugh though when the initial “Ugh” quickly dissipated as I thought about what I’m writing.  When I stopped to think about it, this is absolutely true.  I love my dog.  He brings me joy in countless ways.   I would rather “get to” clean up the occasional dog puke than not have him.  

As with anything new, his takes practice and time.  I learned the power of this shift years ago, but still catch myself using “have to” and gently correct my thinking to “get to” or “want to”.  I’m not trying to be all Pollyana on you here, but just try it.  I swear you’ll be amazed at the difference in your attitude.  And if you really do have too many things on your list that truly are “have to”, it may be time to do some serious soul searching about how you’re using your precious resource of time here on this planet.  Are there "have to's" on your list that are maybe someone else's "get to's" that you can outsource?  Are there things that aren't really "have to's" or "get to's", that can be dropped altogether?

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability." ~John Wooden

The other part of this is when we “skate” or “get by”.  We truly miss out when we don’t show up fully and give OUR best.  Very often a change in our thinking results in a change in our behavior.   Changing our lives from a “have to” to a “get to” definitely changes the energy we bring to our days.  And yet, we still sometimes need to do a reality check on the standards we’re setting for ourselves in our lives.  Who are we getting one over on by not giving our best and making the very most of all that we are blessed with?  Why would God, the universe, or whatever resonates bestow more on us if we’re not good stewards of what we already have?  Would you ask an accountant who can’t manage a small account well to take on an even larger one?

We are all blessed with unique gifts, talents and contributions to make.  When we are letting our own unique light shine brightly, it also lights the way for others.  This day, this week, this month, this year….our lives are an amazing, wonderful “Get To”.