The majesty in adopting a “choose-to” versus a “have-to” attitude is illuminating.
Today, I’m meeting with my mastermind group—a regular gathering of focused individuals who support the acquisition of each member’s visions and goals. (Read More: http://www.thesuccessalliance.com/)
As our assignment for this month, each member was to read and jot down notes on The Power of Focus by the two fellows from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series—Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen—and Les Hewitt.
On page 216—one could miss it if she is not careful—there is a brief passage and exercise titled “Embrace Your Greatest POWER” on the power-producing ability of shifting from a have-to to a choose-to approach.
1. Make a list of six things that you have to absolutely get done, that must be completed in the next three months. (Examples from book: Reorganize and clean my office, pay taxes or have a heart-to-heart talk with my sixteen-year-old son.)
2. Make two columns: Have-to’s and Feelings
3. List those “must be completed” items in the have-to column and next to them record your feelings around them. (Use feeling words: Upset, worried, joyful, frustrating, sad, powerful, loving, thankful)
4. Review your list and PUT A LINE THROUGH EACH TASK. Cross it off your list!
The authors share that there is no such thing as have-to.
What we have is choice and return— for example, choosing to plant apple trees and simply yielding apples. This is Newton’s third law of motion: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.
When I share this, it is most remarkably received by the students I work with in my prison art workshops. I look at the teens and share,“And you are aware, probably more than most, that one truly has the option not to do something she is told she has to do.”
On the feelings side, the majority of the have-to’s for the general public is negative or leaning on that side of the continuum. This approach produces
negative energy that has a draining effect. We are giving ourselves the plug. We are leasing our power out to energies and attitudes that deplete us.
I repeat: This approach produces negative energy that has a draining effect. We are giving ourselves the plug.
My prison students get this. Some of them have been bucking at this negative drainage for a while. Some of them have been feeling confined to structures that continually tell them what they have to do without inquiring as to what they want or choose to do.
They get it. Now we can move to higher levels of thinking and processing. I go to the next stage of the three and a half page exercise:
1. Make a list of six things that you absolutely choose to get or want to get done in the next three months. (Examples from book: Plan a special anniversary, launch a new product, start guitar lessons.)
2. Make two columns: Choose-to’s and Feelings
3. List those “choose-to” items and next to them record your feelings around them. (Use feeling words: Upset, worried, joyful, frustrating, sad, powerful, loving, thankful)
4. Review your list. What is typical is an increase in positive feeling words.
All of this boils down to capacity. Activities that produce general feelings of positivity produce energy that feeds not feeds on! We not only digest what we take in externally. We create our own storehouse of energy, nourishment and fuel.
Let’s power up!
I am more than speaking of this on a metaphysical level. Biologically, we all know that there are energy producing reactions and bacteria that we within create. We have learned that we can cause ourselves to hyperventilate through internal stimuli and that our brain does not know the difference.
For example, whether fear is produced by an outside force or internal one, our brain receives it in the same region. Fear will illicit—irrespective of its
origin—the brain’s response to produce more adrenaline and cortisol.
(Fun fact: Adrenaline gives a boost and cortisol sustains that boost keeping one alert and vigilant if the fear producing stimuli persists well into a few hours.)
Cortisol And Adrenaline: The Stress Hormones
This Wellness blog is to share the author's trials and triumphs in becoming more present and centering her daily routines around health practices that build from the inside out.
It is her hope to spark dialogue and resource sharing as well as encouragement for those newly embarking on their journey toward healing all over.
(This is a personal blog with resources for educational purposes only.)