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The End of the To Do List: How to Shift from Obligation to Inspiration in Everything You Do

You can also read the transcript below:

Let me guess, you’re really busy, you’re so busy, that your to do list is so long that it could have wrapped around the Earth five times and still keep on going. I get it. I’m busy too.

But here’s the thing, every single thing that’s on your to do list, it’s something that you put there. And it can be something that you actually want to do. Now, when you have this to do list, it feels like obligation. It feels like drudgery. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live my life and lead my business out of obligation and drudgery.

So what if you change your to do list to a get to do list? And when you look at that list, you’re excited about all the things that you get to do and you’re leading from inspiration rather than obligation? How would that change things for you?

Because when you think about the things that are on your list… “Oh my gosh, I have to watch all these trainings to build my business.”  “Oh, my gosh, I have to pick up my kids from school.”

If you think about it, these are high class problems. You have access to the best training in the world, the best information in the world to build your business. Your children have access to the best schools.

It hasn’t been long in human history, where our lives are so good that we could devote ourselves to living our purpose, doing the work that we’re lit up and inspired to do.

So all those things that are on your to do list — They’re really on your get to do list.

When you think about it, you get to do these things every single day, you get to take care of yourself, and your family and your business. And when you make this shift, from doing things out of obligation, to leading with inspiration, it will change your business and your life forever. I promise you that.

I call that intrinsic motivation. And intrinsic motivation is when the work itself becomes its own reward. And no matter whether you succeed or whether you fail, you’re enjoying the process. You’re enjoying the work, you’re enjoying sitting in front of your computer every single day and everything that’s coming out of you everything that’s flowing out of you.

And when you can find that intrinsic motivation, then you will never work a day in your life. Because you’re doing what you love. You’re doing what you choose to do.

So people always ask me, “Marisa, how can you run three different companies? Your productivity just boggles my mind. You’re so prolific. How do you do so much?”

The reason is that I’m not doing anything. I’m excited that I’m getting to do this stuff. So it never feels like drudgery. It never feels like obligation.

Every day, I write and I create for about four to five hours. And then I’m probably on the phone and facilitating and leading webinars and coaching and guiding my team for another four to five hours a day. So quite often, I work 10-12 hours a day, sometimes I might work 15 hours a day. But I’m lit up and excited to do that work. Because I chose to do all of this. And I have to remind myself, this is not a to do list. This is a get to do list.

And I’m so privileged and so grateful that every day, I get to do the work, the business that lights me up from the inside out. That allows me to make a huge contribution and impact in the world, that’s transforming the lives of people around the world.

How lucky am I? And how lucky are you that you get to choose what you do every single day, and to appreciate it, to be led forward by it, to be inspired by it.

Because like I said, when you find your intrinsic why —  When you find the reward in the work itself, regardless of how you can benefit from the work and regardless of the money, it won’t feel like work.

So leave a comment below and let me know one thing on your get to do list that you’re super stoked about… that you can’t believe you get to do and let me know how stoked you’ll be when you check that off. Because you’ve not only done it, it’s not only checked off but you enjoyed every moment of doing that work. It lit you up inspired you.

Now that’s the way to build your business. And that’s the way to lead your life. Now go out there and live your message

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. mj Avatar

    my to do list is welcoming people to our beautiful town and providing them woth accomodations…beeing there for my children and of course taking them on bike rides in our beautiful back yarx ?

  2. Nomita Mehta Avatar
    Nomita Mehta

    So timely to heAr this!
    I am so grateful that I have 3 videos to make today! And yes I’m sharing the exact things / feelings/ beingness I would have wanted to know to make dentistry fun and meaningful again.

    Thank you Marissa for a cheerful Monday morning start!!

  3. mj Avatar

    my to do list is welcoming tourists and providing them with accomodation.

    beeing there for my family and of course having time to take them on bike rides in our beautiful mountains.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      That sounds like a fantastic to do list MJ! 🙂

  4. Tom Sikorski Avatar
    Tom Sikorski

    My favorite post yet! What beautiful perceptual shifts – GET TO ~ inspiration not obligation ~ choose to and the journey is its own reward. (The post-it reminders are already on the edge of my computer screen.) I REALLY needed this today. Been wondering why I get stuck in doubt and fear about feedback when I used to work because I enjoyed doing creative things. Failures have eroded my confidence. I have been anxious to put myself on the spot for continued content creation. Like a mama bird surrounded by babies with their mouths open…can I deliver before they fly away? Bottom line – I like storytelling and sharing what has made a difference for me. Giving doesn’t have to depend on whether recipients stay or go. If I don’t put it out there…I will never know. What if they DO like it?

    I am looking forward to FINALLY making my SENIOR VISION SECRETS program available to the public. I thought I was walking in to EPM with it almost ready to go. I discovered it could be MUCH bigger and better with feedback and more attention. Now I feel REALLY good about it and am recommitted to working through the technical set up to get it put out to the world.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Awesome Tom! I’m glad Senior Vision Secrets almost ready to go now… that’s what EPM is all about. Getting something that’s truly engaging. And YES to some big perceptual shifts. xo

  5. Nomita Mehta Avatar
    Nomita Mehta

    So timely to heAr this!
    I am so grateful that I have 3 videos to make today! And yes I’m sharing the exact things / feelings/ beingness I would have wanted to know to make dentistry fun and meaningful again.
    Thank you Marissa for a cheerful Monday morning start!!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Have fun with the video-making! It’s something I personally LOVE to do.

  6. Kimberley von Agris Avatar
    Kimberley von Agris

    Marisa, you are always giving me the mental goodies to uplevel! So grateful to you and I look forward to your emails every week. Hug! On
    my get to do list is record a video to help new moms get their body back after baby in which I share three easy wins they can do on their worst day! I know they will get great value from it and I’m lit up to be of service if they wish for more help getting fit, energized and radiant again!
    I’m almost in tears from what you said — how it’s only a new phenomenon that we get to truly follow our dreams. Thank you for this post, it knocks out the fear.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Kimberley. I do think we live pretty charmed lives and it’s so easy to take this freedom and possibility for granted. It does take some of the edge off, doesn’t it?

  7. Jim Brown Avatar
    Jim Brown

    “Get to”! Great reframe. I get to listen to Marisa every week!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Lol Jim. I love it! xo

  8. Jenny Avatar

    Marisa such good timing! I’m in Perth. Please come here! Weather is great land is amazing!!! Looking forward to seeing you hopefully ?

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks Jenny. This is our first trip to Australia and we’ll be in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney. So no Perth this time around… 🙂

  9. Debra Avatar

    Great re-frame, Marisa, thank you! IT DOES take the drudgery out of it — for sure!

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Totally Debra! And I think taking the drudgery out of your everyday is important if you want to keep being productive.

  10. Patrick Johnson Avatar
    Patrick Johnson

    Love, love, love this.

    My get to do – continue to refine my Overflow Experiences to reach more people & create a revolution of generosity. I love seeing people transformed and creating a transferable experience that champions can leverage to spread the joy of generosity.

    What would a generous world look like?

    How would people relate to a generous God differently?

  11. Sampada Pai Avatar
    Sampada Pai

    Thank you Marisa for the guidance

  12. David Boateng Avatar
    David Boateng

    Love it. Music.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd


  13. Patty Avatar

    I get to work full time doing interesting work while also taking care of my dad who has dementia. Without that work, I wouldn’t be able to care for my dad, nor spend a lot of quality time with him before he loses his memory completely. Yes, I’m exhausted and emotional, but grateful. Not many people get to do that.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      That’s certainly a tough situation but making that mental shift to appreciation will make it SO much more manageable. You’ll be grateful you did when you look back on this time period of your life. Thanks for sharing Patty <3

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