Not because I have to… but because I get to

“Not because I have to… but because I get to.”

I get reminded of this or something similar often. Working in communications in a sales-based environment, positive phrases can get thrown around like penalty flags. What I mean by this is they are sometimes used for teaching moments (read between the lines: friendly correction).

This sometimes get old, but it stands as a reminder we should be using positive phrases in our everyday speech and personal self-talk. I’m grateful to work in an environment where positivity is the norm and people care enough to invest in others through gentle reminders.

Most recently, I was reminded of this while at the gym. Working out across from me was a beefy man just short of having roid rage that had a message on his shirt:  NOT BECAUSE I HAVE TO. It was appropriate because he was at the gym not because he had to, but because he wanted to.

Washer victoria-palacios-355597There’s a difference between having to do something and getting to do something. The drudgery of having to be forced to act versus the pleasure of getting to is like night and day. Once this line of thinking and small altering of language becomes habit, the most random chores become a routine of joy.

Try it. The next time you think, “Aw man, I have to do laundry.” Say instead, “I get to do laundry today.” Some people “have to” wash their clothes in a river. You get to use a washer and dryer… which does most of the work for you. It’s all a matter of perspective and practice.

Trey Campbell,
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*Photo by Victoria Palacios via




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