Is anyone else over the have tos in their life? I was complaining talking to a friend about this book I’m working on and how I had to do another round of edits on it. My agent had read the new draft and suggested more edits so I was back at it.
Me and this book have been doing the jiggly piggly for a while now and this was what felt like the 1045th round of edits and I was sick of it. Sick of it. If I never saw this freaking story again I’d be freaking elated. So, I was whining speaking very calmly about this 4056th round of work on my book, when my friend reminded me of something.
I don’t have to do shit.
And she was right. Here is the real and honest truth about your life.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO SHIT.
That’s it. There is nothing in this world you have to do. Ever.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking maybe there’s nothing you have to do, you irresponsible loser. But I have kids and a job, and responsibilities. There is so much I have to do. My life is filled with nothing but have tos.
But, nope, that’s not true. You don’t have to do a damn thing. You are not being forced to do anything. But I have children, you say, I have to watch my kids. Nope. You could drop them off at a fire station and go to Vegas. You don’t have to watch your children. You don’t have to take Jimmy to soccer or bake 25 homemade cupcakes for Gwen’s bake sale.
You don’t have to go to your job. You could choose to stay in bed all day or never show up to work again or become a monk who takes a vow of silence.
You don’t have to stay in that unhappy relationship for whatever excuse you’ve come up with. Hell, you don’t have to eat. You don’t have to breathe. You could attach yourself to your couch in your underwear until you start growing mold on your extremities and the sheriffs come to evict you.
The truth is there is nothing that you have to do. I don’t have to do those book edits. I could tell my agent to screw herself. I could toss the book in the trash and set it on fire. I could resend it out without touching another word. I could print it out and eat the paper. There’s no have to involved. I could never write another word again and take up ice fishing instead.
I want to do the edits because I want to make the best book possible and become a published author. I choose to do the edits because it’s in my best interest. I’m privileged to do these edits, as a human being who enjoys being creative and loves writing so much she’s determined to make it her career.
You want to watch your children, play with them, remind them about their homework because you love them and you want to be a good parent. You choose to tuck them into bed and dress them for school in the morning. You didn’t just choose the day you decided to have a child, you chose every day after that. You are always choosing to be a parent, with every action you take.
You want to go to work to make money so you can feed yourself and you’re not homeless. You want to stay in your relationship for whatever reason, love, hope, happiness, complacency, laziness, fear. You want to be single because you don’t want to settle or you like being alone or you’re too lazy to go on 100 dates to find someone you want to be with.
Your life is your choice. Every action you take is reaffirming the life you have picked for yourself.
Every time you say you have to do something stop yourself. Reframe it. You don’t have to do anything. You want to do it. You want to do the things you’re not juiced about because they help make your life better. You want to clean your house because you want to live in a nice environment. You want to exercise because you know it’ll make you healthier, happier and you’ll feel great about it when it’s done.
Toss out have to, need to, must. Those words mean nothing to you because you’re always free to make your own choice. I want to be a thriving human being so I’m going to do what it takes to make that happen. I don’t have to work, pay my bills or brush my teeth. I do those things because I know they’re what’s best for me. I want to do them.
Reframe your thinking. Cut out the have tos. There are no have tos in your life. Only what you want, only what you choose to do. You may not always love your choices but you always have them.
If you hate your job you choose to do it. You want to do it because you make the money you need to house, feed and clothe yourself. You want to do it because you don’t want to find something you like better.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO SHIT.
YOU CHOOSE TO DO SHIT.
YOU WANT TO DO SHIT.
YOU GET TO DO SHIT.
You decide. You’re always the one making the choice. You’re in control.