Some people go around saying, “It’s not my fault. I had to do it. I have to work. I have to take care of…. I have to… I have to….” They always feel like somebody else is forcing them to do whatever it is that they are doing. Their basic premise is: “It’s not my choice. I have to do this.”
I’m going to free you up for a second. And I really want you to hear what I’m going to tell you, because it’s a powerful lesson in the map of accountability.
There are no “have to’s” in this world. It’s a myth. The only “have to” is that you have to die. The rest of the “have to’s” are what you create in your head.
“Wait a minute!” you might say. “Hold on a second! I can think of about twenty ‘have to’s.'” You’ve got this mental map of a picture of your kids and your house and paying your bills and you say, “Hey, I have to work!” But you don’t. “If I didn’t work,” you say, “I couldn’t pay my bills.” That’s true. But you don’t have to work.
Work is like anything else. If you don’t work, there are consequences for that choice. One consequence might be that you can’t pay the bills, but you don’t have to work. You get to work. You don’t have to. You would rather work than be unable to pay the bills. So you choose to work. You have a choice. You always did.
Every time I explain this, somebody always says, “How about taxes? We have to pay taxes!” And I’m telling you right now that you don’t have to pay your taxes. Are there consequences? Absolutely! You may get three meals a day and an address that says Leavenworth, but you don’t have to pay your taxes. Do you want to go to jail? No? Would you rather pay your taxes than go to jail? Then shut up and pay your taxes. You don’t have to pay your taxes. Given the circumstances, it’s your choice.
If you feel like you’re living your life on a “have to,” it slows you down. You build resentment. You have stress. You have anger. You may even resort to things like drinking, just to relieve the tension, because you feel like you have to.
One of the things about feeling that you “have to” is that it creates these little things called IOU’s. They’re paybacks.
Whenever we feel like we have to do something, we may do it, but we pay it back. We slow down. We procrastinate. We drag our feet.
Those of us who are married know how to pay our spouses back whenever we feel like we have to do something. I do. I’m a trained professional in teaching this stuff, but I know how to get my wife upset within ten seconds. I’m not proud of it, but I know how to do it. And she knows how to do it back to me. If you’re married, you know exactly what to do to get each other’s goat. It’s called payback.
Live your life on a want to basis not a have to basis.
Then you won’t need payback. You won’t need IOU’s. You won’t need any excuses. You’ll be getting results.
Remember there are only two things you can be doing in your life. You’re either getting the results you want, or you are making excuses for why you’re not getting those results. You always have a choice.