Here is a fun little New Year’s resolution brain exercise to try. Think of all the times you start a sentence with “I have to” in a day. “I have to go to work,” “I have to do the dishes,” “I have to do my homework,” and the list goes on. The number is probably fairly large.
Next, think of all the times you begin a sentence with “I get to.” It’s probably not as many times as the former.
Now, replace the word “have” with the word “get” in the three phrases above: “I get to go to work,” “I get to do the dishes,” “I get to do my homework,” and that’s it! By simply replacing one word, you acknowledge that your obligations are also opportunities.
Sure, work isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do, but it is a privilege to have a job and earn money to support yourself. On top of that, having dishes to clean means that you have a roof over your head and food to eat – again, a simple luxury that many people in the world don’t have.
Lastly, and the hardest to appreciate, is having homework. Again, with the get-to mindset, it means you are getting an education, earning a degree and setting up a career for yourself that follows your passion; an enormous opportunity that many often take for granted.
Easier said than done
It is so easy to get caught up with the have-to mentality as opposed to a get-to one, and this is where the exercise becomes challenging.
While many people make resolutions to eat healthier or get stronger, a simple and important resolution could be to exercise and change your perspective.
Language is a powerful tool and this resolution is easy. More “I get to” and less “I have to.”
Use language to express appreciation for every opportunities, not just the bigger ones. You may just find yourself to be more positive and powerful than ever.