Replace your have with a want.

I have to write this article.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but I have deadlines and sometimes I’m caught in a rush.

I completely forgot that I had to write an article for Friday instead of Sunday from now on.

So I add it to my ‘have to do’ list.

But that list can be scary.

I have to do my Spanish lesson, I have to meditate, I have to come up with my ten ideas today, I have to write a 2HelpfulGuys video, I have to go to the gym, I have to, I have to, I have to…

When I get into this mode of thinking it’s no wonder I become stressed.

I enjoy doing all of these things. They are the kind of activities I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

So why do I feel this immense pressure when I think about them?

Change your language to change your life.

A while ago a wrote an article about replacing the word should with the word could. That way you see things more as opportunities instead of obligations.

Since then I’ve been contemplating the language I use in my self talk. What am I saying to myself and how is it affecting the way I perceive my daily life?

I realized that this whole time I have been saying “I have to” and it has been giving all of my actions an overtone of pressure and responsibility.

Where did all the fun go!?

I worry that one day I’ll accomplish everything I want but I will be wandering around the streets grabbing people and yelling “where did all the fun go!? Do you ever have fun? Why do I hate my life!?”

That probably won’t happen, but I still can’t help feeling the pressure of a long “Have to do” list.

Replace your “Have to” with a “Want to.”

If these are all things that I enjoy doing, then why do I think about them using the same words as when I have to go to work? Or when I have to clean the toilets in my house?

Toilets are disgusting, but I love meditation.

From now on I am going to put in big bold letters at the top of my to-do list “Today I want to…”

That way, I’ll always subconsciously know that these things are my passions. They are what keeps me balanced. They are what brings joy and progression into my life.

I don’t have to do these things.
I want to.

This is my plea to you.

Watch your words, they dictate how you perceive your world.

Don’t say you have to play with your kids. Say you want to.

Don’t say you have to take your mother out for coffee, say you want to.

When you want to do something it feels like a choice, and one that you enjoy. When you have to do something it makes you feel as if you are at the whim of outside forces.

Sometimes you do ‘have’ to do things.

That’s fine. We all need to do things we don’t enjoy.

But save that language for your chores, not for the things that move you forward in life.

And not for the things that make life worth living.

I had to wanted to write this article today.

And I enjoyed every minute of it.

As always, I’ll see you next Sunday Friday.

34 thoughts on “Replace your have with a want.

  1. I liked this because I recently began to say I would like to or I like to… instead of I should do…as you suggested in your post the change is an immediate lifting of pressure on your body and mind. Now when it is raining Bob and I say, We would like to go splashing in the river or puddles and smiling like idiots we go off and do that. I suppose it just proves I am completely bonkers but…. a lot happier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been slowly changing the language I use vocally and internally for a little while now and it really does change your whole perspective. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope you try it out and see how it works for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Steven! Thanks for following my blog so I could find YOU! I will follow you as well. I really enjoyed this post. My husband has worked with me about my positive think/speak. It has really helped me in so many ways. I love that you are helping others think of their word choices too.


  3. Great point and so simple (can’t believe I’ve never thought/come accross that one before!) Gonna do it too. Thanks for dropping by and for the follow. Maybe I’ll do like wise and see if you have any more “gems’ in store.


  4. Reblogged this on thelumpyabysss and commented:
    This is such a great post! I completely relate to it and I am definitely going to start saying “I want to…” instead of “I have to…”. It’s true what they say… It’s all about your perspective!


  5. This is a good trick! I need a lot of self-motivation. There is also a great exercise where you say “I want to (be a rock star) BUT I (can’t play guitar)” and you change the “but” to an “and.” So an impossible obstacle turns into an obtainable goal 🙂 got it from “A Whole New Mind” by Daniel H. Pink


  6. Words change perspective. I tried it.

    I have to read all these blog posts- I feel the pressure of too little time.
    I want to read all these blog posts- I still have limited time, but don’t feel pressured.

    And I enjoyed reading & learning, so thanks for sharing.


  7. Reblogged this on creativeword and commented:
    Classic cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). To change our behaviour, we must change our cognitions. This will create an alternate emotion and this reinforces our behavioural response. I love the concept of word replacement as it removes the previous association which we put upon the situation. It can completely change our mindset, thus creating a different and fresher perspective 🙂


  8. I am in absolute agreement with you and I WANT to thank you for the timely reminder, because even having received this same suggestion a long time ago from a really great counselor I happen to know, I still manage to forget it on occasion, and it really does make a huge difference in my life. So once again, I want to thank you for the reminder.


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