Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson calls his company Seven Bucks Productions because that’s how much money he had in his pocket when he was cut from the Canadian Football League at the age of 23. It was at that moment he decided to pursue a career in professional wrestling, where he quickly became one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE history.
Then he became an actor and has been the star of some of the highest-grossing films of the past 20 years.
Johnson attributes his success to the incredible work ethic that his father taught him. As a wrestler, before every match he prayed for “the strength to leave it all in the ring—whether I was wrestling in flea markets or sold-out stadiums.”
That type of dedication and effort begins with a person’s attitude. Johnson recently shared a simple trick that he uses to reframe every situation into a positive experience. He replaces the phrase “I have to” with “I get to.”
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This type of reframing is used by people who practice positive psychology, so Johnson probably didn’t come up with it on his own. But it’s great that he can use his tremendous platform to share it with people who may be unfamiliar.
He shared this simple but powerful advice on his Instagram page.
I’ll share a little philosophy with you guys that’s helped me achieve some success over the years.
When it comes to hard work and things I’m passionate about - years ago, I stopped saying “I have to” and started saying “I get to”.
Big psychological shift on how you approach the daily grind of shit we gotta get done
I “get to” train hard and push myself to the breaking point.
I “get to” get my ass kicked and come back stronger.
I “get to” be the hardest worker in the fucking room.
Because when you “get to” do the things you love - it’s a privilege.
Try switching “have to” to “get to” and start to feel that grind, gratitude & growth.
Johnson’s philosophy doesn’t just work for people who need the motivation to bench press 450 pounds. It can be used to change any situation into something you’re doing begrudgingly to an opportunity for growth. Focusing on the negative aspects of a situation prevents us from seeing opportunities or simply enjoying the moment.
For example, I “have to” write a paper for class can be easily reframed as I “get to” work to improve my writing skills and learn about something new. You could “have to” go to the DMV or you could “get to” spend 45 minutes reading a book while you wait.
Gillian Behnke, founder and CEO of Mom Camp, does a great job explaining the concept for parents on Thrive Global.
“One simple change of a word can help to reframe it and remind you that there is potential benefit in every situation,” she writes. “What might feel like an inconvenient favour at first might actually bring another person joy, and as a result, bring you joy in the process. I get to help someone who needs me.”
This change in perspective is also a way to practice gratitude. Studies show that gratitude opens the door to new relationships, improves psychological health and improves our self-esteem.
So next time you have to do something you dread, take a minute to find a way to reframe it as an opportunity for fun, growth or an opportunity to challenge yourself.
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