Have you ever done something that you didn’t want to do? Have you ever gone to a child’s birthday party in an obnoxiously loud and crowded facility?
I must admit, as a father, that I never really enjoyed going to Chuck E Cheese with my son for birthday parties or, worse yet, voluntarily just for fun. But, I told myself, “I got to” and so I did.
Years later when Jacob was on his high school football team, he was required to be at school for training at 6am. And that meant I was up at 5am to prepare breakfast and drive him to school. I hated it the first week and found myself feeling resentful. I’m a night owl and 5am wake ups do not suit me. But, like the parties at Chuck E Cheese, I told myself, “I Got To” and so I did.
Not feeling good about my resentment I tried to change my mindset and I did it with one vowel – E. I changed “I Got To” to “I Get To” and that self talk shifted my emotions from a resentful obligation to a joyful privilege. I thought to myself: “I get to share this time with him.” “I get to be present in his life and be there for him.” “I get the privilege of observing my son make healthy disciplined choices.”
And, it really works for most everything. Change your “I got to” to “I get to” and notice the emotional shift of gratitude and contentment.