Throughout my basketball career, I had many coaches tell my team, “We’re going to have to…rebound better, get in better shape, hold each other accountable, work harder, and on and on.” It was all true, but it often turned practice into punishment. Training didn’t involve teaching. Negativity pervaded. Changing out “have” to “get” can make all the difference!
Try it out:
Do you have to — or do you get to?
Do you have to work out — or do you have a body that you get to move, strengthen and train?
Do you have to go to work — or do you have a job that you get to implement skills, contribute, serve people and provide for your family?
Do you have to engage with your kids — or do you have children that you get to teach, lead and love?
Do you have to give a presentation — or do you get to share an idea or experience in order to inspire others?
Do you have to perform — or do you get to test your abilities and improve?
In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “The key point is that both versions of reality are true. You have to do those things, and you also get to do them. We can find evidence for whatever mind-set we choose.”
This is a message for myself! When my alarm clock buzzes in the early AM, it’s often a trigger in my mind to all the responsibilities to do in the day ahead. Unfortunately, when I say, “I have to…” — it turns opportunities into burdens. It saps my energy and leaves little room for inspiration. Saying “I get to” produces gratitude and motivates me for the day ahead.
- Athletes: You get to guard the opponent’s best player. You get to learn the value of sacrifice for the greater good of a team.
- Coaches: You get to make the tough decisions. You get to face a demanding schedule.
- Leaders: You get to navigate change. You get to have difficult conversations.
- Parents: You get to instill discipline and values into your kids. You get to influence another life in the most profound ways.
- Competitors: You get to lay it on the line. You get to learn through experiencing victory and defeat.
Reframe your problems into opportunities for growth. Remember, your responsibilities are the rewards.