The Journey: The powerful difference when using a ‘word swap’


By SAMANTHA BRAZIE, Special to The Paper

And just like that Paper readers, it is November: the beginning of silly season. My silly season is probably a little different than what the rest of the world refers to, it is when we have so much on our schedule (an overload of fun, friends, drinks, food, spending money) that we just sort of float from one thing to the next … and for me, that is November and December. So much so that I generally go into a comatose state in January recovering from all the lack of reality I just spent the last months experiencing. 

For me, this is not just the holidays but also refers to six very close friends that have birthdays in those two months, along with mine. So this month, I thought it relevant to write about a different mindset that I have been working on, and that is ‘I get to’ instead of ‘I have to.’

Although this word swap may not mean much on the surface, it completely changes the context and tone of anything I can think of to say. ‘Have to’ shows a need or obligation where ‘get to’ means privilege, an opportunity or something you like to do.  Sometimes I get caught up in all the things that seem to be going haywire in the last couple of years that I forget how many ways we are privileged today, right now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve not wanted to get out of bed and have told myself, ‘you have to go to work today’, and got up.

 However, doing what I do is a privilege, not just a necessity. I can make a change any time I want to do anything else I want to do but I choose to work where I work. I am able to help people and have worked myself into a much better environment over the years that makes me happier. So honestly, ‘I get to go to work today’ is a much better way of describing the fact that I am able to get up, provide for my family and do meaningful work while I’m at it. 

“I have to take my son to soccer practice” vs. “I get to take my son to soccer practice.” “I have to go on vacation” vs. “I get to go on vacation.” “I have to work things out with my friend” vs. “I get to work things out with my friend.”

See how that can work in different contexts?    That simple tweak in the way we think can change us from walking into our workplace with a ‘what is going to go wrong today’ vs. ‘what opportunities can present themselves today?’

And with that Paper readers,  I hope you will join me in looking at all of our daily activities as opportunities instead of tasks. Chat with you again soon!

“Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you” – Siri Lindley

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