Listening to one of my favorite motivational speakers, Eric Thomas, and he made the simple distinction between the idea of “I got to” as opposed to “I get to”. It was subtle but a major shift for me as I thought about my context. I am blessed to be able to speak and reach educators all over the world, and although some days are tougher than others, there is not a day that I am not grateful for the work that I do. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t think, “I got to go to work today.” I think, “I get to speak to educators today!” I do not complain about long days, tough travel, etc., because I get to speak. It is a mix of a blessing and hard work that allows me to get to do what I do.
Got to = obligation
Get to = opportunity
But there are some things that I am not so excited about that feel like “got to” moments. When I was in my best shape, I was teaching spin and reffing. I was lucky to do both, worked hard for both, and getting up to do these things were “get to” moments.
Somewhere along the way, exercising became “got to” feeling for me. I felt I should workout, but it was more of an obligation, then an opportunity. Lately, my mind has shifted this to a “get to” experience. I get to run, lift weights, and do things that many people who wish they could, just can’t. Lately, this simple shift has not only led to being more excited about the opportunity to work out, but also much better workouts. To get better physically, I am focusing more on where I am mentally first.
I am trying to fall in love with the process, not merely the results.
Shifting from the focus of “I got to” versus “I get to” can make a significant difference not only in what we do now but in the long run.
Do you “got to” go to professional learning today, or do you “get to”?
Do you “got to” go to work today, or do you “get to” inspire the next generation of adults?
One word can shift our minds, which can change everything.