I get to

“I Have to” vs. “I Get To”

If you want to make one simple change that can alter the way you move through life, change “I have to” to “I get to.” Stress is caused by trying, feeling put upon, hurrying, and a lack of choice. When you have to do things, you can go through life feeling like a beast of burden. You might feel a lack of freedom and joy. Life can feel like drudgery.

If you change your attitude to “I get to” magic can happen. Here is what I mean.

  • Think of all the people who are unemployed and can’t seem to find a job. If you have a job, you get to work. You get to make money to feed yourself, enjoy nice clothes, have social activities with friends, and do all the things that money provides. How lucky is that? Wow, what a great perk of having a job! If it’s not the most fulfilling or glamorous work, okay, but you still have a way to serve yourself, your family, and the world until something else comes along.
  • Think about all the people who can’t walk. Maybe they are in wheelchairs or live in constant pain. You, on the other hand, can move about freely. You can exercise, run, play sports, and do all kinds of things. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, but a gift.
  • Today is Mother’s Day. Maybe you and your mom aren’t the best of friends. Heck, maybe you aren’t on the greatest terms with your whole family, but if you have a family, you get the choice of hanging out with them today. Some people don’t have that. Some people never had that. Jeez, how lucky you are that you have a mother to honor today.
  • Do you have a pile of work to do? Me, too. That can feel like a lot of stress, but if I look at why I am doing it, then it becomes a blessing. I get to pay taxes because I am productive and making money. I get to bill insurance for reimbursement because I have clients who want to see me. Today I get to clean my house because I have a house!
  • Let’s say that you have depression or anxiety. Whoopie! You get to cope with that. How is that awesome? Well, there are blessings in everything. Think about all the people who are writers, motivational speakers, and healers who have a story of overcoming something and coming out the other side stronger. This could be your big break. We all need challenges to make life worthwhile. So learn something. Enjoy the ride, and have some fun with it.
  • Now think about your blessings. I just came back from a trip to South America. It was a wonderful time. If you also think of the things that delight you as gifts, well, your whole life becomes one big, fabulous wave of good luck.

Most days I go for a walk for exercise and just to be a part of the big, wide world. I often find myself saying thanks that I get to be here doing this. It’s a small thing. It’s just a walk, but so often we walk by people and things without seeing them. Without appreciating them. When you adopt an attitude of “I get to…” those things don’t escape you anymore.

Try it and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear!

Posted in coping, self-help and tagged .