The words we choose are important. They can built others up or tear them down.
Our words aren’t just important in how they impact someone else but also in shaping who we are as well. Our words reinforce either a positive or negative perspective. Our words subtly echo the story we tell ourselves every single day… a story that after a while becomes what we tend to believe.
Many times it’s the simple words, the word we don’t even realize we’re saying, that can have such an impact.
One of those words or phrases is HAVE TO.
I was talking to someone a while back and for whatever reason I picked up on the fact that she kept saying “I HAVE TO do this” and “I HAVE TO do that.” As her words became more obvious I realized how many times she said it in that one conversation (which was a lot). So, I set out on my own small experiment of consciously listening to how many times I would naturally say HAVE TO in a conversation as well as how many times others would. It was much more than I expected. You should try it yourself and see.
It was a subtle thing, an unconscious word choice but a choice all the same.
Here’s the thing…
- HAVE TO frames things in a way that says I am obligated or required. It’s negative in most cases.
- GET TO frames it more from a sense of gratitude and appreciation. It’s positive.
See the difference? It’s a simple shift of perspective but it can mean a lot over time as we subtly train our brains to respond out of a place of gratitude and thanksgiving versus an obligatory requirement.
The truth is, there’s not much in life that we HAVE TO do but there is a lot in life that we GET TO do.
- That job that that you HAVE TO go to work at today, yeah… you GET TO go there. You GET TO earn a paycheck, regardless of how small or large it may be.
- That meeting that you HAVE TO go to, yeah… you GET TO go there too. Could be worse, you could be sick or injured and physically not able.
- That bill you HAVE TO pay, again… you GET TO. Consider that you could be living in a 3rd world country with no access to the modern commodities we GET TO pay for.
You get the point. Life is a gift, a gift that is much more enjoyable when we choose to see it that way.
So, go ahead… make the choice to replace HAVE TO with GET TO and see how your perspective begins to change.
(BTW… this is a great lesson to teach your kids as well as adults).