Want to vs. Have to


“The greatest gift you can give yourself is the strength and confidence that come from consciously holding positive and empowering thoughts.” Susan deCaussin

Just like any habit, when you become accustomed to reacting to life’s situations by continuously thinking negative thoughts, you can end up reinforcing unwanted behavior without even knowing it. That being said, it’s so incredibly important to observe your internal dialogue throughout the day. All of the opinions and viewpoints expressed in your mind as you react to life events, create bridges and barriers that determine the direction your life will take, as well as your ability to experience joy along the way.

I just love the quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer that states, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” You could just as easily say, “Change your thoughts…change your world”.

I’ve found that the thoughts that you hold upon awakening, really do set the tone for the rest of the day. What’s the first thing you think about the moment after the alarm clock goes off? You undoubtedly, like many people, begin to mentally list all of the things you have to do that day. By doing this, you’re unconsciously handing over your power to the events of the day and reinforcing the mindset that your life is out of your control. It’s enough to make you want to pull the covers up over your head and remain in bed!

I noticed the other morning, when my alarm went off, that I began to mentally list all of my “to do’s” for that day. The emotions that accompanied those thoughts were anything but empowering and uplifting. I felt weighed down and trapped by all of the “have to” items on that list. Then, all of a sudden, I caught myself in that moment and had an epiphany. I realized that I really didn’t “have to” do any of those things. I had chosen to. It was my decision, and my decision alone, to commit my energy to those events.

Here’s the thing – there’s only one “have to” in life – you have to eventually leave your physical body and return to Spirit. Everything else is a “want to”. Now, you may argue that point by saying that you “have to” go to work or you “have to” pay taxes, etc. The truth is, you “want to” to do those things because you choose to avoid the situations that would result if you didn’t. You want to work in order to earn money to support a certain lifestyle. You want to pay taxes to avoid being penalized. Those examples may be a bit extreme, but you understand what I mean. By seeing all of the little “to do’s” throughout your day as being “want to’s”, you will avoid feeling as if life is out of your control. The simple act of shifting your perspective will empower you to lose that victim mentality.

So when you wake up and catch yourself listing off the things that you “have to” do each day, pause for a moment and shift your perspective. You have free will. Know that it’s always your choice as to where you direct your time and energy. It will empower you more and more with every decision you make. And, when you feel in control of your life, you’ll be able to experience true peace, contentment, and joy.

Namaste’, Susan


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