You don’t have to

Conversing with a friend the other day she said “I have to …” with that ‘I have so much to get done and this isn’t fitting into my plan or my fun’ tone we all get when we’ve over scheduled ourselves.

Thankfully she’s a really good friend because “You don’t ‘have’ to, these are choices you made” jumped out of my mouth into the air of our conversation.

I challenge you this week to listen for how many ‘I have to’s’ you’ve got going on in your mind and coming out of your own mouth. Unfetter yourself from this burden by actively changing your thoughts and what you say.

“I have to go to work” is a statement that unemployed folks would turn into “I have a job!” or “I earn money to support my family!” if they “got” to go to work.

“I have to take my son to soccer practice” would be a joyful event for someone who hungers to be a parent and is not.

A kid may not want to do their homework but they choose to do it because the consequences delivered by parental units is worse than not doing their homework.

Keep in mind I am speaking to the feeling of burden and ‘I don’t want to’ that often accompanies these statements. These statements with “have” in them are not, in and of themselves, wrong or bad.

This small action, taken over and over again will have profound impact on the quality of your days. No one likes dragging around a sack of have-to’s day to day, so you’ll feel lighter.

You’ll begin looking at the whys of your actions, looking to the outcomes you’re seeking. You’ll learn to say “no” to the good so that you can say “yes” to the best so that your schedule is rarely overtaxed.

Did I mention my friend is a really good friend? When I smilingly spoke to choices in that conversation, she said “You’re right. I did choose to do these things.” Her attitude about her schedule shifted in a good way and it will do the same for you, too.