Do It Willingly
Do the dishes, clean your room, walk the dog, clean your room, wash the car, clean your room.
A seemingly endless list of non-optional tasks to be flawlessly performed on a regular schedule in exchange for a place to sleep and food to eat.
These were not viewed as tasks to be performed with glee, they were punishment for the heinous crime of simply being born.
We did them because we had to. In so doing we learned to attach the phrase “I have to” to the front of any task we view as a chore – something to be done, not because we want to, but because we have to.
“I have to take out the garbage.”
“I have to clean the kitchen.”
“I have to go to a meeting with my boss.”
“I have to have lunch with a client.”
“I have to have cut the grass.”
“I have to work late tonight.”
And over time “I have to” has, for many of us, become the trigger that unleashes emotions like resentment or reluctance, each time we do something when we’d rather be doing something else.
You’ve never heard anyone say:
“I have to go to Disneyland.”
“I have to go pick up my cheque from winning the lottery.”
“I have to take my brand-new car out for a drive.”
We all have things in our daily lives that we need to do and, consequently, do grudgingly.
Our “grudgingness” has nothing to do with the task at hand. Taking out the garbage is just taking out the garbage, it is neither fun nor arduous, exciting nor dull. It is simply our perspective that causes us to “have to” do these certain things with feelings of resentment, reluctance or just plain disinterest.
I “Have” To
“I have to” suggests the task at hand is wrapped inside an air of impossibility.
It implies there is no alternate choice available, it is impossible to do anything but this.
What would happen if we just changed one word? What would happen if instead of saying “I have to” we say “I get to?”
“I get to” implies something to look forward to, something we willingly want to do, perhaps even a reward for doing something else.
“I get to” gives us a feeling “I have to” simply can’t.
It gives us a sense of impending pleasure and absolute ownership of our actions.
The continuum of desirability to perform any function lists grudgingly on one extreme and willingly on the other, always remember, both are derived from our perspective.
While no one would argue about whether the garbage needs to be taken out, doing so willingly and cheerfully has a far more positive impact on our disposition than doing so grudgingly, because we have to.If you start “getting to” with the small things, I suspect the bigger things will take care of themselves.
I get to write another blog on Friday.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.