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.

The Dark Cave

I wouldn’t consider my job the greatest in the world, but it’s decent. I have lots of free time and I’m able to pretty much govern myself.

I’m a operations coordinator. I oversee peoples’ parties, make sure things go smoothly and clean up. Pretty much, I’m a glorified janitor.

Hmm, doesn’t sound as glamorous as ‘operations coordinator.’

People book party rooms for all sorts of happy events: Birthdays, weddings, baby showers and retirements (are retirements happy?). These are all pinnacle moments in peoples’ lives.

Ideally, the hosts should be ecstatic to be celebrating with their family and friends.

Instead, I see the opposite. I see grumpy, anxious hosts enter, spewing a flurry of curse words like some sort of pirate.

But wait; isn’t this supposed to be a happy occasion?

It seems to me, the hosts forgot what they’re celebrating. They choose to be miserable because something wasn’t set up properly.

These little problems ruin their entire occasion. They are forever flustered about everything.

They’re trapped in this dark cave from which everyone eventually emerges.

I’m reminded of the last time I let little things bother me. It sucked. I was flustered and anxious. It was pitch black in my cave. I didn’t know how to deal with everything.

Little problems are just that…

Little. When you make small things into big things, you forget about the important things. You forget to enjoy the present moment. You stop looking for laughter and enjoyment and focus on that insignificant issue of a table being set up wrong.

They Ruin You

Like an apple left out to oxidize, you slowly start to turn. You steer your attention towards more insignificant problems. This process is gradual. All these little problems compile.

They add up, brown. Before you know it, like the gradual process of the apple, you’re spoiled, core out.

Choose Freedom

When in doubt, shrug it off. Don’t let these little problems affect you. When you let it get to you, your life gets affected.

You won’t be able to think and act properly. You start giving in to your vices. You may chomp on your nails. You may smoke or drink. You may want to punch a wall or hurt yourself, or worse, someone else.

These things will weigh on you, like you’re carrying a hundred-pound sandbag. If you let it affect you, you’ll be forever weighted and hindered.

To Learn or Not to Learn 

I like to think of these problems as miniature hurdles, each trying to teach you a little something as you jump them. These problems are a test for you to overcome, to help you progress, to make you stronger.

If you don’t learn from your problems, you’re bound to repeat it. There will only be darkness.

Here lies the pinnacle choice. Do you squander your time complaining and getting angry or do you utilize this moment and seek a way to make your life better.

Every single situation has a good and a bad. What do you choose to focus on? Who will you be after you come through that dark cave?

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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