In his excellent Article, How a Small Shift in Your Vocabulary can Instantly Change Your Attitude, Michael Hyatt outlines some simple ways that we can alter our inner dialogue to positively change our mood. So often the vocabulary that we use engenders feelings of resignation and hardship. But, Hyatt says, we can quite easily shift our focus.
The main idea he wants people to consider is replacing “have to” with “get to.” Say to yourself, “I have to go to work tomorrow.” Now try, “I get to go to work tomorrow.” Notice the difference? The impact on your attitude can be significant. Try it with some other activities that you consider to be chores. Going to the gym, cooking dinner, taking the garbage out…see how you feel about those things when you switch that voice inside your head by just a touch.
He then goes on to summarise this process in three simple steps.
First, become aware of your vocabulary. It can be difficult, especially in the early stages, but do your best to register your own inner dialogue. How are you talking to yourself? How are you interpreting the world around you? Are you approaching it with positive or negative language?
Second, compel yourself to use get to instead of have to. Much like shining awareness on your internal dialogue, this can also be difficult to put into practice. For that reason, it’s important to will yourself to do it in the early stages.
Finally, notice how doing this changes your mood. The sudden feelings of gratefulness that get to evokes are wonderful. You’ll feel more energised, more willing to work and be better placed to tackle problems and challenges.
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