When it comes to the things we do in our lives, we can either approach them from a “have to” perspective or a “get to” perspective. The distinction between these two mindsets is powerful and can make all the difference in our experiences. 

If we view our actions as things we “have to” do, it can create feelings of resentment, obligation, and even dread. It’s as if we’re being forced to do something against our will.

This is because language matters. Your brain, consciously or not, is processing the things you say and either creating or reinforcing ideas, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The more you say “I have to” the more it will feel like an obligation.

On the other hand, when we view those same activities as things we “get to” do, it can create feelings of gratitude, joy, and a sense of purpose. We’re not being forced to do something, but rather we have the opportunity to do it.

There are so many people globally who would love the opportunity to live your life. There are so many people in the US who would love to be able to do what you do consistently. 

Exchanging “I have to…” for “I get to…” actually changes your mindset from “I am forced to do this thing…” to “Aren’t I lucky to be able to…”

For example, if we view our job as something we “have to” do, we may dread going to work every day and resent the time and energy it takes away from other things we’d rather be doing. But if we view our job as something we “get to” do, we can find fulfillment and purpose in our work, and feel grateful for the opportunity to earn a living and contribute to society.

This “have to” vs “get to” mindset can be applied to all areas of our lives, from our daily tasks to our bigger goals and dreams. When we approach things from a “get to” perspective, we open ourselves up to more positive experiences and opportunities for growth.




1. Start your day by asking yourself, “What do I get to do today?” Focus on the things you enjoy doing or that bring you a sense of purpose, rather than the things you feel obligated to do.

2. When faced with a task that you might typically view as a chore or obligation, reframe it as an opportunity. For example, instead of thinking “I have to do the laundry,” think “I get to do the laundry and have clean clothes to wear.”

3. Practice gratitude by making a list of things you get to do each day. This could include things like spending time with loved ones, pursuing a hobby, or even just taking a shower.

4. Use “I get to” statements in conversation with others. For example, instead of complaining about having to work late, say “I’m grateful that I get to work on this project and contribute to the team.”

5. Notice how your mindset shifts throughout the day as you practice using “I get to” instead of “I have to.” Reflect on how this change in perspective affects your mood and overall outlook on life.