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Do you HAVE to?

My husband has always been my greatest teacher when it comes to being grateful. 

For Daniel, gratitude comes easy. It’s as if it’s in his DNA.

And perhaps it is. 

According to researchers at the Greater Good Science Center, there is actually a gene associated with gratitude. “CD38 is, in fact, significantly associated with a number of positive psychological and behavioral outcomes that are all intimately related to the expression of gratitude.”(1)

I, on the other hand, have had to continually work at cultivating gratitude, much like exercising. 

So it’s super cool that I have Daniel around to keep me on track with my training.

For example, Daniel loves correcting me when I say, something like, “I have to do laundry today.”  

“Lorraine, you GET TO do laundry,” he replies.

And he’s right. I GET to do laundry in our state-of-the-art modern washer and dryer that just happen to live right outside my kitchen. I don’t have to schlep to the laundromat or up and down a few flights of stairs like my younger twenty-something self did. And I GET to have clean clothes.

This one shift in language, “HAVE TO” vs. “GET TO,” whether you are saying it out loud or silently to yourself, can make all the difference in how your subconscious mind interprets your life. 

Because all day long we are constantly thinking about what we HAVE to do, am I right?  

This one shift in language helps us appreciate the journey. 

Whether’s it’s doing something menial like laundry or food shopping, or something more enjoyable, like for me, writing this email, we can either trudge through it or enjoy the ride.

It’s the difference between racing through the supermarket, hoping to get in and out the door as soon as possible, and never making eye contact with anyone vs. being inspired by a new vegetable, snack, or person you meet along the way.  

I used to get frustrated that food shopping with Daniel always felt like it was taking too long. But now I see the light. To him, shopping is not just something to check off the to-do list, which he does find pleasure in, but it’s also an experience to be had. It’s no wonder Trader Joe’s is Daniel’s favorite store. Listening to the music and sampling the free coffee or snack, all while shopping for tasty treats with him is something I actually look forward to now and leave extra time for—because I GET TO!

For today, take note of how many times you use the words, “have to” and see how it feels to shift into “get to” mode.

It could make all the difference in your day, week, month, or year and eventually your life starts to change for the better. 

Because you either HAVE to live this life, or you GET TO. Tweet this!

It’s all about perspective.

My advice? Be like Daniel.

Douse life with appreciation and wonder, and enjoy it fully, simply because you GET TO!

All my love,

 

 

 

 

 

(1) source: greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/love_gratitude_oxytocin

Photo by Andy Fitzsimon on Unsplash

Author: G2BAdmin

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