One Word That Will Change Your Entire Outlook

Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner

Five-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, NY Times bestselling author and venture capitalist.

As busy people, we often sprint from one obligation to the next. The mandatory client meeting, the business lunch, the kid's soccer game all while keeping your seven social media streams up to date, your boss happy, and your family fed. In the modern age, we can feel overwhelmed with all the things we just have to do.

When the events in our lives are more duty-bound than optional, our vitality can take a nosedive. Running from one commitment to another, how can we possibly bring our best selves forward?

In his 2013 TED talk, Bert Jacobs (founder of the Life is Good t-shirt brand) offered up a simple yet incredibly powerful approach to flipping your perspective. He suggests changing out a single word to instantly shift your outlook:

What if you change "have" to "get?" In other words, instead of, "I have to go to this big supplier meeting," it becomes "I get to go to this big supplier meeting."

When you make this easy language shift, your entire attitude improves. It reminds us how lucky we are to be alive. How fortunate that we are healthy enough to take on responsibilities in the first place. We quickly realize that many people in the world would do anything for the opportunity to live the way we do. That compared to the majority of civilization throughout history, our air-conditioned, mobile-connected, airbag-protected lives are something others only dreamed of.

Since watching Jacobs' TED talk, I've caught myself many times bemoaning something I had to do. But when changing the one word - from have to get - my mindset instantly shifted to gratitude. I realized that I get to prepare a financial model. I get to conduct research. I get to exercise and eat healthy food. I get to serve on a corporate board. I get to go to the grocery store to pick up milk for my kids. And yes, I get to sit in traffic in a safe, comfortable car that transports my lucky behind way faster than walking or riding a horse.

In your complex world, try this surprisingly simple shift. When we turn our haves into gets, we melt away angst, frustration, and dread while liberating gratitude and energy.

I hope you get to do many things this coming week. For me, I'm truly happy I get to take out the garbage. Better than not being able to, no?

The post One Word That Will Change Your Entire Outlook appeared first on Josh Linkner.

What a French Creole Cooking Term Can Teach Us About Customer Loyalty
After finishing an incredible meal in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the best part of the experience may very well be the lagniappe (pronounced LAN-yap). While it sounds like a fancy seafood dish, a lagniappe is actually an unexpected gift. That special dessert, complements of the chef. The small box of chocolates for you to take home. Th...
Read More
An Innovative Way to Improve Behavior
Early education in high-risk urban areas is a complex and seemingly overwhelming challenge. Often dubbed the "school to prison pipeline," kids in troubled classrooms with negative peer influences and little family support too often end up incarcerated or repeating the cycle of poverty. Despite committed teachers and administrators, these problem...
Read More
What Business Leaders Can Learn from 100-Year-Olds in Okinawa
The Japanese island of Okinawa boasts the highest life expectancy, and the greatest concentration of centenarians (people who live to 100), in the world. Their culture, rituals, diet, and environment have been the subject of extensive study as researchers try to crack the code of a longer, healthier life. When questioned why their people are ...
Read More
When We Stop Doing The Things That Made Us Great
Last weekend, I went to one of Detroit's most celebrated Italian restaurants. I'd been years ago and anticipated the same exquisite experience. Known for their impeccable service and inspired dishes, I was expecting them to nail every detail like they had in the past. Yet the very things that made them successful had obviously been significan...
Read More
The Hard Part
Whether you are running a startup, building a relationship, or rebuilding a community, there's an easy part and a hard part. One requires less work in the moment while the other unlocks the potential of your efforts and concurrently is your playground for personal growth. Those comfortable things that require little thinking, risk, or effort ...
Read More
You're Always Auditioning
Think about how you shined during the interview where landed you your job. You were prepared to impress, fully engaged, and leaning forward with enthusiasm. Acutely aware that you were being evaluated, you made sure your answers were crisp and your questions were thoughtful. Simply put, you were ON. Unfortunately, that moment is the brightest...
Read More
One Word That Will Change Your Entire Outlook
As busy people, we often sprint from one obligation to the next. The mandatory client meeting, the business lunch, the kid's soccer game all while keeping your seven social media streams up to date, your boss happy, and your family fed. In the modern age, we can feel overwhelmed with all the things we just have to do. When the events in our liv...
Read More
Making Mistakes
In school, we're taught that mistakes should be avoided at all costs. We learn that getting something wrong somehow means that we're wrong as a human beings, that each mistake translates to a lower self-worth score. These dreaded slip-ups can be so hurtful that we learn to recoil from the very thought of stumbling, much like we avoid the hot sto...
Read More
The Mother of Dragons
Spoiler Alert! (if you haven't caught up on GOT, stop reading and JUMP to "SPOILER START" below) Wow. How incredible that the woman who built her career on kindness and empathy turned every heartfelt follower to ash this week. The power of the loyalty that she built was, prior to this week, unstoppable. Her motives pure and sincere, and those th...
Read More
The Last 10%
I was nearing the end of my three-mile run (I'm no marathon candidate), and was feeling awful. Tired, hot, sore, and ready to throw in the towel. Looking at the fitness app on my phone, I realized that I only had 10% remaining. As much as I wanted to quit, I forged ahead and completed the full run as planned. That moment of difficulty, angst, an...
Read More