By January 9, 2008 Leave a comment Read More →

Choose-Tos Over Have-Tos

“The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose.” — J. Martin Kohe

Do you find yourself saying, "I have to do this" or "I have to do that?" Well … stop! You’re draining yourself, and taking away your chance to enjoy what you do. Instead, tell yourself, "I’m choosing to do this." You may not actually like what you’re doing, but you are choosing to do it, either to gain pleasure, or avoid pain.

In The Power of Focus: What the Worlds Greatest Achievers Know about The Secret of Finiancial Freedom and Success, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Les Hewitt write about how to turn your have-to’s into choose-to’s.

Key Take Aways
Here are my take aways:

  • Don’t beat yourself up when you could lift yourself up. When you catch yourself saying, "I have to," remember you’re the one in charge, and say, "I choose to."
  • Create choose-to lists over have-to lists. Your To-Do list is really your choose-to-do list. Are you choosing the right things?
  • Don’t undermine your discipline. If you’re good at sticking to your routines and schedules, don’t sell yourself short, by saying you do what you have-to. You’re choosing to stick to your schedules and routines, so good job!
  • Revisit your choose-tos. If they’re not working for you, maybe you need to choose a new set.
  • Turn tasks into opportunities. Even the most mundane task is an opportunity for improvement.
  • Consider Personal Outsourcing. Maybe your mundane tasks are another person’s opportunity?

I like nuggets you can put into practice and get immediate results. This is one of them. You might have heard the saying, "The only thing you have to do is die and pay taxes." Whether or not you agree, the message is to embrace the freedoms you do have. Don’t cage yourself with limiting language.

Stay Out of Have-To Land
Canfield, Hansen, and Hewitt write:

When you constantly live your life in Have-To land, you put yourself in a position of pressure. This causes resistance and resentment and drains your life of energy.

When you live each day from a position of Choose-To, you are your are in a position of power. You feel in charge and in control of your life.

Master the Mundane
Canfield, Hansen, and Hewitt write:

This takes a conscious effort to consistently think about your everyday decisions — even simple tasks like washing the dishes.Say to yourself, "I’m choosing to wash the dishes now, and I’ll do the best job possible."  This is much better than, "Oh no, I have to do the dishes, what a drag." If you really detest doing mundane tasks, choose now to create a lifestyle where you won’t be required to do those things. Delegate them to someone else, or hire the work out.

Consistent Choosing
Canfield, Hansen, and Hewitt write: Decide how to shift your focus. Make every activity a conscious choice. No more Have-To lists. Starting today, eliminate those words from your vocabulary.

It’s also worth noting that the resistance caused by your Have-To jobs often leads to chronic procrastination, and you know how unproductive that can be.

Decide how to shift your focus. Make every activity a conscious choice. No more Have-To lists. Starting today, eliminate those words from your vocabulary.

Regain your power. Expand your energy and enjoy the freedom that consistent choosing adds to your life.

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