Imagine standing in a grocery store and down the aisle you notice a person singing along to the music, cheerfully choosing items off the shelf. A person who looks just happy to be there…
How is it that some people are happy and content while the rest of us slog away at the mercy of our endless to-do lists? All the things we gotta do! Yeah, when we stop to think about it, we know there are things to be thankful for, but there’s just so much stuff to accomplish and not enough time to do it. Plus, life keeps throwing us more; unexpected calls for help from our children, unanticipated requests from friends, crises with co-workers.
I’m reminded of one of my family’s favorite children’s books that was called “Chicken Man.” It told the story of workers on a Kibbutz in Israel, at a time when everyone would get a turn at all the jobs.
Rody, the main character, loved working with the chickens. He’d whistle to them and they would perch on his shoulders when he came to feed them. Bracha, another kibbutznik, hated her job in the hot kitchen and asked to be given Rody’s job with the chickens. So, Rody was moved to laundry where he sang all day long. Bracha, in the meantime, hated the chickens who scratched and pecked at her. However, Dov, another kibbutznik who was working nearby, heard Rody singing and thought that the laundry must be the best job, and so asked to be moved there.
On the story goes–Rody being moved to ever new jobs, as others coveted the one he had previously. Yet he always seemed to find joy in what he was doing. What’s the message and the secret? Clearly it wasn’t the laundry or the chicken coop itself.
I suspect that somewhere between the childlike delight that we start out life with and the grim acceptance of adult responsibility, we slip into an unintended attitude of burden.
Just look at how you tend to talk about your day. Suppose you have a long to-do list. So when a friend, co-worker or spouse asks you what you are up to for the day, you answer, “I’ve got to do errands… I’ve got to work on my business… I’ve got to answer these phone calls.”
Talking about your tasks in this way gives the impression that these are a bit of a drag, a weight upon your shoulders, something you have to persuade yourself to do–all these things that are “gotta, gotta, gotta.”
What if you change your answer from “I’ve got to do this” to “I get to do this”?
It’s just a one letter difference, changing the “o” to an “e,” “got” to “get.”
“I get to do errands… I get to work on my business… I get to answer these phone calls.”
What does this do? It changes your perspective from viewing your responsibilities as an obligation to seeing them as an opportunity that brings you a sense of abundance.
We are lucky to have a store to go to and get food, a bank where we can deposit our money. We are lucky that we have businesses to work on, where we can share our gifts and expand our full potential.
So today, listen to yourself and how you speak, and when you hear yourself saying “got to,” change it to “get to,” and really take it in what that means.
Allow yourself to feel the appreciation for everything you GET to do in your life.
@LindaUgelow (Click to Tweet!)
And you’ll be the one enjoying the day-to-day.
Linda Ugelow is a dancer/performer, business and mindset mentor. She helps people transform worry and struggle into inspiration and ease in their work and life. A special love is helping shy entrepreneurs find confidence and joy connecting with their audiences on camera or stage. As a movement specialist of many years, her work is grounded in body-centered awareness. Access her Feeling Fabulous Guided Relaxation series here. You can connect with her on Facebook, her website, and Twitter.
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