Are you ready to wake up? Ready to open yourself to new possibilities? Ready to create a new way of looking at life? You might ask, "Is it possible?" And I say a resounding, "YES!" Not only is it possible, but it's also something we should strive for daily. Waking up, seeing reality for what it is, precisely as it is without regrets of the past and fears of the future, is what we're destined for! I know it's a big ask, but it's what we need to do to live fulfilled lives.
In my latest book, I share a simple but powerful tool to help you wake up. Like the book's title, it's called The Get To Principle. It's a simple way of looking at life and changing HOW you are experiencing WHAT you are experiencing. It's moving from dread to joy in almost everything you do.
Here's how it works: Whenever you are doing something, and you say or think, "I have to…", change it to "I Get To…" For example, as you are doing the dishes, you might say or be thinking, "I have to do the dishes." You might even grumble a bit. Even if you're not speaking or thinking it specifically, it's a feeling inside, one of obligation or being a victim to what you are doing. That feeling is, "I have to do this."
As soon as you feel that or notice you're saying or thinking, "I have to do this," stop yourself and say, "I Get To do this." When you consciously do this, you'll start to notice three things:
1. You immediately feel compassion for others. You don't have to do the dishes; you Get To. Twenty thousand people will starve to death today on the planet. And you Got To have a meal. Wow, you Get To do the dishes.
2. From that feeling of compassion rises a sense of gratitude. With each scrub of the dish or pan, you feel grateful for your life, no matter what's going on in it.
3. Finally, with compassion and gratitude welling up inside, you become inspired to live a better life, do more, tap into your "true self," and begin to create something better for the world. Action for a higher purpose, whatever that is for you, becomes a dominant thought.
Cleaning the cat box? You Get To. Rushing out the door to get the kids to school? You Get To. Here's a big one: Mourning the death of a loved one? Yes, you Get To. This isn't a quirky "just get over it" attitude. It's a profound realization of knowing life is as it is, and your acceptance of it as it is the highest form of living.
There is even more to Get To. Do you meditate? Or have you wanted to? I've meditated for over 30 years, sitting with monks in temples in the mountains of Hiroshima, Japan, attending a 10-day, silent meditation in the hills of central California, and even, after meeting Mother Teresa in Calcutta, meditating under the Bodhi Tree where the Buddha is said to have found enlightenment.
But now my meditations are different, and they tap into the Get To principle in a profound way. The basic premise is to recognize that everything we are experiencing is "content of consciousness." Notably, the thoughts that are arising as you sit quietly are merely content that is emerging in consciousness. It is not you. Everything is coming out of nothingness, and we are the experience of all that is arising. It's a very profound viewpoint to have and fits Get To perfectly.
You see, when you say, "I Get To," you let go of the victim's viewpoint of what's happening, and your mind gets quiet as you allow what is happening to be just as it is. When you smile, it makes it all that much sweeter.
We've all had our ups and downs and twists and turns in life. We're all heading for a certain death that we mostly don’t think about. But as we start to wake up from the dream of our thoughts and the victim mentality that comes with saying “I have to”, and start thinking and saying, "I Get To," your life begins to change, and you feel, well, just fine.
-Ted Larkins, author of The Get To Principle