“Have to” or “Get to”?

Photo courtesy of Mike Rastiello (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Mike Rastiello (Creative Commons)

I headed out for my long run this weekend, telling myself that I wasn’t sure I had the 10 miles I had planned in me.

I basically started out by saying to myself I might cut it short – I gave myself an opportunity to back out.

The first couple of miles were tough – my legs felt heavy, my breathing was labored, I really wanted to just turn around and head home.

I was listening to worship music, and as I stuck with it, thoughts swirling, I realized that the main reason I do this is because I dedicate my miles to Bennett, a little boy with Downs syndrome, who is my buddy in a group called I Run 4 (read more here).

Suddenly, I realized that I didn’t feel as tired anymore. I felt like I was privileged to be running those 10 miles.

My words changed from I “have to” do this long run, to I “get to” do my long run. And honestly, the words didn’t really matter anymore, it was the feeling I had that mattered.

How much more effective would that mindset have been from the beginning? Instead of getting up and dreading the experience, I would have been eager to get started.

I need to think more about “why” of my activities. It’s the thing that completes my actions. Actually it’s the start and the finish of my actions.

I run in honor of Bennett. I work to serve both my team and our neighbors in need. I volunteer to serve the buddies and runners in I Run 4. I have a small impact on lives in each of these activities. That’s WHY I do these things.

That’s why I “GET” to do each of these activities, I don’t “HAVE” to. It’s the rush of emotion that I feel instead of the words that I say.

What do you “get” to do?