Did you ever had a really nice time with someone, but then you looked at the clock and said “Oh no! I have to leave, I have an appointment at 5!”. You leave quite sad, and rush to your appointment. I hear people say things like this often; “I need to leave”, “I must do this today”, “I have to go to this stupid event”, and so on. I believe that people in these situations are not telling the truth to themselves, and to others.
No one ever needs to do anything. You didn’t need to be at the appointment at 5; you wanted to be at the appointment at 5. You have no obligations to anyone. Doing somethings like arriving on time is not something you have to do, it is something you want to do. However, it’s true, sometimes you might have to leave somewhere at a certain time, to avoid getting fired. So being at that appointment in time, seems like something you need to do in order to not getting fired. However, being fired is also something you don’t want. So being at that appointment at 5 is still something you want, because you don’t want to be fired.
For the past time I have excluded to sentences “I need, I must, I have to” from my vocabulary. I have replaced these words with “want” (e.g. I want to go now). I believe this has really helped me to change my mind in general. I feel like I am more in control in the things I do every day, and it gives me more honesty towards my friends. Secondly, it even helps me by reminding myself to my long-term goals, and changing them if necessary. For example, I didn’t look forward to a family birthday in a busy week, but I didn’t want to say that I needed to go there. So when I said I wanted to go to the family birthday, it reminds that I want to go there because I wanted to be connected with my family on the long-term. Just like many people feel like they don’t really want to get out of bed early, but it are the long-term goals of not being fired that make them go out of bed. So by saying; I want to get out of bed now at 7:30 am, you have to think whether you don’t want to be fired in the long-term. Then, if you really don’t want to get out of bed, you have to think hard about your job itself.
Nevertheless, it still feels harsh when I say; “I want to go now” when I leave a friends place. Most people still expect that you “have to” go. So quite often I tell them the second sentence; “in order to…” right after saying the things I want to do. So “I want to punish you now, in order to help you understand the weight of this issue”, or “I want to wake up at 5:00 AM in order to have an income” makes you feel much more in control, and makes you understand the things that you do, especially when you don’t really like doing them. If you control this habit well, there is nothing that you don’t really like doing because you want everything you do. You are an individual and no one controls you. Once someone orders you to do something and you do it, you do it ultimately because you want to do it, you want to live, you have a choice. Having control, have a choice makes you feel free, it makes you make more proper decisions, and it makes you, you.