Got, Ought, and Want To

got to do something about this extra weight.  I ought to start eating healthier.  I want to become healthier.

At first glance, it sounds like I’m saying pretty much the same thing.  But if you consider the key words in these statements, you see a significant difference.  I got to suggests pressure, conformity or obligation.  I ought to suggests awareness, need or recognition.  But I want to suggests drive, determination or persistence.

What is your got to?  That thing you feel pressured to do?  The ways in which society is attempting to conform you? Or something that you feel obligated to do?  In some cases we have to squash our “got to’s.”  They aren’t for us. They’re not part of God’s plan.  In other words, we don’t got to do nothing (pardon the slang).  But in other circumstances our “got to” must become something more than I should do this thing.  We need to take action.  We need to step out of our comfort zone.  We need to seek God’s will, way and timing.

What is your ought to?  The awareness that change is necessary.  Recognizing the difference between need and want. If there is something you ought to do, it’s not enough to realize it.  You must go beyond a mental understanding of your circumstances.  There must be an embracing of what should happen next.

What is your want to?  That drive you have inside to do something.  The determination to make lasting changes.  And the persistent thoughts of making it (whatever your “it” is) happen.  When you reach the place of “I want to,” there is a shorter leap to action steps and success, when compared to getting stuck at “I got to” or “I ought to.”

I got to…

I ought to…

I want to…

Take time to fill in those blanks (on paper or in your head).  Ask God for help.  Put a plan in place.  And then DO something!


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