Attitude change - want instead of have to
Attitude change – want instead of have to

What we say and think has a tremendous impact on our behavior, emotions and feelings. A small two word change can also cause a change in your approach and significantly increase your motivation.

The words I HAVE TO and I WANT are words we use every day.


If you think about it, this word has a negative connotation. If you say “I gotta do something“, it suggests that you don’t like this job and it will cost you a lot to get it done. It can also mean imposing one’s will on you, something that is not entirely consistent with your beliefs. Without a doubt, MUST reflects negative emotions, decreased motivation and is associated with coercion. :-(

  • I have to work out today
    I don’t like this, but my favorite pants don’t fit me anymore.
  • I have to read this report by tomorrow
    It’s boring, but if I don’t, my boss will not be happy.


WANT is the opposite of HAVE TO. It indicates willingness and shows your motivation to do your job. We WANT things that evoke positive associations, things we strive for. :-)

Say I WANT instead of I HAVE TO

All you have to do to change an unpleasant chore into something that you really want to do is a small change in your approach and using ‘want’ instead of ‘have to’.

  • I want to work out today
    I want to lose weight so that my favorite pants fit again and to be healthy
  • I want to read this report
    Because I will get to know the company’s condition better or find out other interesting things.

A simple exercise. Every time you say or think I HAVE TO, quickly replace it with I WANT. :-( => :-)

An important element of this change is visualization. If you HAVE TO/WANT work out, imagine yourself slim and happy, if you HAVE TO/WANT learn a foreign language, imagine yourself in a distant land where you have no problems getting along with the locals.

The most important thing in this verbal confusion is your approach to things you HAVE TO do. If you WANT to do something that you identify yourself with, it becomes a pleasure rather than a tedious chore. It’s up to you if you keep saying that you have to or want to do something.

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