Have To or Get To?
A real quick thought: catch yourself next time you say "I have to" and turn it into "I get to."
My father-in-law always asks me, "did you have to work today?" or "do you have to get up early tomorrow?" Contained within always seems to be a well-meaning, but real, jab at obligation. I always have answered, "well, I get to."
A client of mine was belly-aching about being on call at work one day. I asked her why the negativity. Her response, "I have to be at the hospital overnight." I said, "let me understand this: you GET to improve the world by potentially saving mothers' lives, their babies' lives, in a respected profession of your choosing that few people could do, have done or will do, exercising your expertise in a way that obviously is valuable to all and invaluable to many - what's the problem?"
Every single situation you can think of, this mind-bender is legitimate and the implications are grand. "Have to" is short-sighted. It's lack of perspective is self-sabotaging. The truth is that you get to. And "get to" holds all the wisdom.
Somewhere else in the world there are smarter, harder working, more honest, more deserving, more competent, more capable, wiser, better people than you who don't GET TO do the things you do because they're deployed in combat, born into destitution, paralyzed, dying, or afflicted with some unimaginable disability by virtue of some factor. They wish that they "HAD TO" work, hit the cardio, pay that bill, fix that car, pick up their sick kid, stop eating sweets, face their evil boss, or whatever other issue you can create. You'll find that every "have to" scenario involves layer upon layer of privilege which billions of people never enjoyed.
No one "has to" diet. It's a privilege you get living in a place where you don't have to hike 20 miles each day in hope of finding potable water that won't give you dysentery.
No one "has to" be stuck in traffic. It's a privilege you get owning transportation that most humans don't.
You don't have to do anything. But you get to do everything.
And now I'm off to the post office, because I get to pay estimated taxes today.
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