“I have to” or “I need to” has come up during several conversations I have been party to over the past few days. When I felt it was appropriate, I invited the person saying these words to replace “I have to” with “I get to” and “I need to” with “I want to.” And then, I asked them if changing that one word changed how they felt. They graciously accepted my invitation and acknowledged that the feeling of dread or heaviness was replaced with opportunity, gratitude, and possibility.
We have all been there, begrudging, taking out the trash, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, or completing the ‘honey-do’ list. But then we get to remind ourselves that there are people in the world digging through the trash for food. Others don’t have the luxury of a grocery store. Some are in the hospital, too weak to consider pushing a lawnmower, and some have recently lost a spouse or partner, and having a ‘honey-do’ list would be a welcome reprieve from sorrow.
So I invite you to consider this next time your “have to” or “need to” comes up. It is incredible what changing one word can do.