Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Move from ‘have to’ to ‘get to’

Get To

There are a few tasks I don’t particularly appreciate doing both at work and on the personal front.

At the workplace, it could be dealing with administrative stuff, and on the personal front, it could be in things like filing taxes or dealing with some household tasks that I have to complete. 

This morning, I had one such “I have to do” moment. My wife reminded me that I was supposed to drive 25Km to collect my son’s passport after his visa endorsement. I was thinking in my head, ” Arghh..this is so useless. I have to do this, and two valuable hours will slip by to just picking up a passport. What a waste of time..” I got into my car, disgruntled and irritable.

As I started driving, my mood eased, and something triggered a memory. I remembered a valuable lesson from a Blog that Seth Godin wrote about a couple of years back.

This Blog was about the gap between ‘have to’ and ‘get to,’ and the message was that happy and productive people have a way of defining the work they may not be thrilled doing as something they ‘get’ to do instead of ‘have’ to do.

As soon as I remembered this message, my mindset completely shifted. I realised that I get to pick up my son’s passport after the visa endorsement ONLY because he is there with us in KL instead of being up on his own during the pandemic lockdown in London.

I can apply the same mental shift to any other task that I struggle with. For example, I get to complete administrative tasks at work because I have the privilege of being a leader. Likewise, I get to file my taxes because I have a job that makes me eligible for paying tax.

Actionable TIP

Reframing your tasks from have to do to get to do will help you become appreciative and grateful. So the next time you find yourself feeling “aah, I don’t want to do this,” remember this simple mental model. You get to do something because of the position you are in. It’s a privilege.

PS: Seth Godin has been writing a daily blog for over 20 years now. It is his daily Blog that inspired me to start my daily sharing. The link to the Blog I refer to is here.

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