Ever notice the list of “have-to’s” you’ve got going? As in ‘have-to’ get up and get yourself going, ‘have-to’ get everybody fed-dressed-out-the-door, ‘have-to’ get to work, ‘have-to’ do the work, ‘have-to’ put up with a boss/co-worker/client you can’t stand, ‘have-to’ run the errands, do the chores, pay the bills, and on and on.
When life is reduced to a list of “have-to’s,” it becomes a drudgery, just a long list of dutiful things you must do as a responsible adult.
YUCK!! Growing up was supposed to be fun. Yeah, right. No big surprise that your daydreams are all of lying on a beach somewhere, with absolutely no “have-to’s” whatsoever, other people being responsible for meeting your every desire and whim thank-you-very-much.
But what if you could transform being responsible into being response-able. Not in the form of some clever word-play that really doesn’t change anything, but into a meaningful change with substance.
What if you could transform “I have to” into “I want to”? Such that you would want to get yourself up and going, want to get everybody fed-dressed-out-the-door, want to get to work, want to do the work, want to figure out how to work with a boss/co-worker/client you can’t stand, want to run the errands, do the chores, pay the bills, and on and on. . .
All it takes is thinking for a moment about what you are trying to accomplish with your “have-to.” For example, you “have-to” get yourself up and going in the morning. Why? What are you trying to accomplish? You want to have a productive and good day. Ah! So you do want the end result. Focus on that.
Or, you ‘have-to’ put up with a boss/co-worker/client you can’t stand. Again, ask yourself: why? What are you trying to accomplish? You want to get ahead in your career, you want to do a good job so you can get a raise, a bonus, or a promotion. There you go - that’s your end result. Focus on that.
Don’t sit there bemoaning how awful it is that you ‘have-to’ put up with these folks, instead, focus on the joy that getting ahead in your career will give you, on the good-feels a raise or promotion will give you.
The principle is the same regardless of what your particular ‘have-to’ (or unending list of ‘have-to’s’) is! Take a step back, and ask yourself: “What am I looking to accomplish here? What good/fun/rewarding result do I want to have happen by doing this ‘have-to’?”
Then take your focus off the seeming drudgery of the ‘have-to’ and put it where it belongs - on the joy of your success with whatever it is.
Now you’ve become genuinely response-able: able to respond to the situation in a way that pleases you, rather than suffer the groan-and-moan of ‘because I have to’ responsibility.