Get To, Not Have To

There is nothing better than the feeling you get when you get a new perspective on things. A new perspective has a way of changing your focus, your attitude, and even your tempo. It was such a great reminder to me the other day as I was reading someone else’s blog, and I was reminded of something I had learned a few years ago that really does do that for me. It’s simply the notion of changing your language from saying, “Have to,” to saying, “Get to.”

Two people feeling ambivalent

Image via Wikipedia

You know you hear it all the time. Someone will undoubtedly say, “I have to go to work,” or “I have to go to a meeting,” or I have to go to church.” The thing about saying “Have to,” is that it leaves you feeling blah and that what you are doing is drudgery. You can just feel your feet dragging, like it’s been tied to an anchor; and you can feel your energy draining like someone took a rubber hose and syphoned it all out of you.

What I love about a “Get to” perspective is that it gives you a sense of:

  • Privilege versus Obligation: Certain things that are given to us to do should be a matter of privilege and honor. The moment it changes from that sense of honor, you lose respect for what it is and it loses value to you. These things should not be a matter of obligation or chore. Even one branch of the military states that they only take commitments. That means that they only want you because you want it. Children would rather you want to spend time with them as oppose to you feeling obligated to. God wants worship out of a willing spirit rather than obligation.
  • Delight versus Disdain: There is nothing worse that the feeling of disdain or contempt towards the things you have to do. When you can take delight in something, it gives you the energy to push through, even when you are working in overtime. A “Get to” perspective elevates your heart to enjoy what it is you are facing.
  • Awe versus Fear: When you have a “Get to” mindset it takes the fear out of doing, going, participating. If you fear something, you give yourself permission to any excuse why you shouldn’t. Having an awe or wonderment about something puts you in the position of anticipation.

Whether you’re working out, witnessing, waxing the car, or just waking up to face the day, a “Get to” perspective essentially changes your mentality. A change in mentality, results in a change of attitude. A change in attitude ultimately changes your altitude.

Get up a little higher by changing what you say. Chances are, once you do this modest shift in your vocabulary, you’ll see things in a whole new way.

QUESTION: How has what you said revealed itself in what you do? How do you handle it?

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