Hands Happily Full
by Kathy Gates
Having your hands full is one thing. Having them Happily Full is entirely
“But you can’t just do what you “want to” all day long”, my friend argued.
I think you can. If you’ll stick with me here for a moment, and make just
a little shift in your perspective, I’ll explain. I think it depends on
how you view your “have-to’s” and “want-tos”.
Think back to that first baby, the first few weeks at home. No matter how
tired you were, whatever he needed at any time of day or night it was your pure
pleasure to make him happy and safe and comfortable. (If a baby doesn’t
ring a bell, think about when you were in college, or some other time when you
worked hard and long but still felt good about it.)
It’s the connotation of “have-to” that makes me tired just to say it.
Notice how your voice drops, when you say out loud, “I have-to go workout.” It
implies that I won’t be happy while I’m doing it. It implies that I’m
doing something I don’t want to do. It implies that I will procrastinate.
But “have-tos” are not necessarily the bad things that we make them out to be.
“Have-tos” can be your friends, if you use them in a way that works FOR you
instead of against you.
Pardon me while I put on my rose colored glasses, but YES, they can!
“Have-tos” relate to what you want in your life. I got up from my computer
this morning, and mumbled “I have to go water the flowers.” Now that’s not
exactly the truth. I do have options: 1. Let them die. 2.
Install an automatic watering system. 3. Pay someone else to do it for me.
4. Delegate the job to someone else in the household. 5. Don’t
plant flowers in the first place.
My point is that IF I want flowers, I may “have to” water them, but that is part
of the bigger picture. It’s also part of my choice to have the flowers.
You might say “I have to go buy groceries”, or “I have to take out the trash”,
or “I have to brush my teeth”. Those may not be things that are
particularly enjoyable to you, but you don’t really *have-to* do any of them.
You may alienate members of your family, coworkers, or friends if you don’t do
them. But then -- that’s the bigger picture, isn’t it? The “have-to”
is a direct reflection of what you want.- food to eat, a clean home,
Are you hands full of “have-tos” that you aren’t particularly happy about?
If you are chasing things that are important to other people and don’t reflect
your big picture goals, then they probably are genuine ‘have-tos”.
But you hands may also be full of “have-tos” that are actually “want-tos”, just
Look at the bigger picture, instead of just the “have to” itself. For
example, “I have to do the breakfast dishes (or run errands, or pay bills, or
mow the lawn).” Yes, I have to, IF I want a clean sink, and IF I want the
electricity to stay on, and IF I want a nice yard. But what if I consider
this my contribution to a happy household? I consider it a role or
responsibility that I negotiated, and that I accept as part of obtaining my
ultimate goal -- having a happy, comfortable family life.
“Have-tos” are a part of life – but instead of looking at them as drudgery, or
work, or struggle, remember to consider the bigger picture. It will make
the have-tos in your life a whole lot easier. And you’ll be able to see
your hands as Happily Full.
Life Coach Kathy Gates specializes in focus and motivation --helping people cut
to the chase, and get back on track. My strengths help you maximize what
you already have and focus on a clear path. Want to know how? Visit
www.reallifecoach.com to learn more about how Life Coaching can help you.