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Free yourself from the chains of “I have to”

“We do not have to love. We choose to love.” -M. Scott Peck

There is a significant gap between living from a place where we feel obligated to perform and living with a mindset that views service as an opportunity. I was reminded of this several years ago through the simple action and words of my wife. And with last week being her birthday, I wanted to share her awesome example with you this week.

It was early morning and I was exhausted after getting home at 2am from a delayed flight. As I groggily reached for a towel after a shower, I noticed a simple note that read “I love you” next to a mug of hot coffee on the bathroom sink.

My wife, Beth, who doesn’t even drink coffee made a pot, poured a cup, ran up a flight of steps and placed it where I couldn’t miss it.

Now, her morning was hectic, too. She had four little ones to get up, lunches to prepare, backpacks to check, kids to get out the door and a work meeting to attend. In other words, with a million things happening that morning, she didn’t need to put one more thing on her list.

I dressed quickly, danced down the steps, and kissed my four little ones and their mom. Thanking Beth for her thoughtfulness, I asked why she made the coffee? Her answer was awesome in its simplicity:

“Because I wanted to.”

My friends, ‘wanting’ to do something is so much more liberating than ‘having’ to do anything.

In marriage we commit with the simple words: “I do.” So often in life, though, the simple notion of “I want to” degrades into “I have to.” The former comes from the choice to love; the latter from an obligation of fear.

Choosing to love positively impacts not only your family, but also your business, spirituality, relationships and life. You’ll discover yourself more present, active, engaged and effective.

Fueled by love, you’ll discover yourself to be less timid making sales calls, less anxious dealing with challenge, less distracted in virtual meetings, less likely to complain about what’s wrong and more likely to celebrate what’s right.

The tension and stress associated with “I have to” go to work, forgive her, move forward, watch my weight, clean my house, pick up the kids, be home for dinner, or get back into my faith dissipates when the sentence begins with “I want to.”

So, brew that pot of coffee.

Fill the mug high and deliver it to those around you with a smile.

Free yourself from the chains of “I have to” and be set on fire with the joy again of “I want to.”

It positively transforms your thoughts, words and actions.

And it elevates the lives of those lucky enough to be drinking the coffee you serve.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

14 replies on “Because I Wanted To”

What a simple thing. A cup of coffee. That’s what makes life so fun! We’ve been married for 50 years and there‘s no doubt the reason we’re still crazy in love with each other has been the small gestures of love, smiles and hugs, words of affirmation, date night, and flowers “just because”, I once wrote a column in our local paper about my husband warming up the towels in the dryer while I showered. That column generated more response than any I had ever written after 20 years of columns. Pretty much every morning, including about 10 minutes ago, my husband brings me my morning coffee. Without question it’s one of the BEST little things in my life, all adding up to one big thing…a happy wife and a happy life! Thanks for the inspiration John…Beth too.

In your book In Awe you shared you kept a journal for a year to capture things Beth did, she said, she did that was remarkable. It inspired me to start that for my wife this year. I started it the first of December so I can have a full year when I give it to her for Christmas. Reading this Monday Motivation reminded me that I am doing this because I want to. Thank you John you for the thoughtful reminder that we get to choose to live in love

My husband was like this. He always put others first. That’s why I always tell my friends to “Wait for a Dave.” Selfless.

I don’t normally reply on blogs like this but I’m making an exception this morning “because I wanted to” 🙂 😀 Thank you for this morning’s inspiration. Love it!

Thank you, John, for reminding us “I just want too” is valid in the things we do & say every day we just have to look for the opportunity!

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