Saturday, September 17, 2016

Replacing "Have To" With "Get To"

I used to work with this guy.  Nobody talked to him very much, and it wasn't difficult to see why.  I made the effort.  Anytime you'd ask him a question, before he'd answer you, he'd let out a big sad sigh.  It didn't matter if you were asking him a question about his job.  If you were asking him to help you something.  Even if you asked him what he was doing over the weekend.  Same thing--a big sad sigh.  His sour disposition would suck the air out of the room.  He was so negative, people in that office wouldn't even laugh or joke if he was in the room because they thought it might offend him.  That's true!

In his world, every task was a chore.  Every question a distraction.  He didn't even seem to enjoy his recreational pursuits because after the sigh, he'd tell you "oh, I have to go do this, and I have to go and do that."  I remember wondering why he had that hobby if he didn't enjoy it.

We all know somebody like that.  It's not uncommon.  Some people just aren't happy unless they are unhappy.  They enjoy complaining about everything.  They seem to live to tell people how bad the food is at a restaurant, or how poor the service was at a particular store.  How they spent an hour on the phone with their cell service provider just so they could complain that there's no signal in the middle of a forest preserve they visited.  They are going through life looking for things to be unhappy about.  About the only time you'll see them look even slightly happy is when they have something really and truly awful to tell you.  They seem to live for that, because it seems to confirm their belief that the world is a bad place, and eventually something is going to get you.

I could never live like that.  I know a few people like that (certainly not on the same level as the guy I described but without a doubt complainers).  That's certainly not the way God intended for us to live, however, we all get like this from time to time.

Our calendar gets a little full or we get busy at work, and our attitude gets negative.  We find ourselves saying those dreaded words . . . "I don't want to go to work today, but I have to,"  or "I have to go to this family dinner this weekend and I'd rather stay home and watch the game."

It's a selfish way to think.  It's not all about you.  The world wasn't created for your satisfaction.  Flip that attitude around, and think instead about how grateful you should be to have those things you do have.  Not everyone has what you have.  There's always somebody with less.  Instead of laying in bed thinking about how much you'd rather stay home, think about what your life would be without that job and say "Thank God I get to go to work today.  I have a job.  I may not like it all the time, but I do have a job when many others don't and I'm grateful for it."

Instead of dreading spending a couple hours with Aunt Minnie and your annoying in-laws, think instead "I get to go to a family dinner.  Many people don't have any family, or they've grown old and outlived practically everyone they've ever known well.  They'd give anything to have people to share their lives with.  I might actually outlive these annoying in-laws and come to miss them one day.  I'm lucky and very grateful to have family, and I'm going to enjoy these people for as long as possible."

Gratitude.  That's the attitude we should go through life with.  Why focus on what's wrong, when there is so much out there that's right.  When you focus on the abundance in your life instead of the lack, you'll be a much happier person. You may not have all you want, but you should always be very grateful for what you do have.

~Todd E. Creason


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