What ‘Have Tos’ Are Shackling You?

By Boni Lonnsburry

Dear Boni,

I’m a college student who wants to study hard and work hard to receive good grades but I don’t feel much motivation to get my work done. My dream is to sing and make music for a living.

I’m a journalism major, and I know I love writing and I love the idea of writing for a living as well (especially if it’s about music). I love my writing and my music classes, but I have other classes I need to do well in.

I don’t know what to do.

Excited to Sing


Dear Excited,

You aren’t alone. There are many people out there who think they need to follow a certain path in order to be successful.

You don’t. But if you believe you do, then you do.

This is important. If you believe you do then you do. Your beliefs will make you fail if you quit school to write and sing. And your beliefs will make you fail for a hundred other reasons too, if you let them.

What’s a person to do?

Change your beliefs

I know it seems easier said than done (and honestly, what isn’t easier said than done?). But it isn’t that hard. In fact it isn’t hard at all. It is just elusive. Beliefs are changeable.

That isn’t to say to drop out of school. But after you have changed the belief:

I can’t be successful unless I complete college.


I can be successful whether or not I complete college.

You will then be free to make that choice unobstructed by the ‘have tos’. The ‘have tos’ make us feel bound when we desire to feel free.

They can really mess up our motivation, and if our motivation isn’t clear, we will have a hard time creating what we desire. Why?

Because our desires manifest when we feel good. They do not manifest when we feel bad, and feeling we ‘have to’ do anything feels bad. That is very simplified, but true nonetheless.

If you are doing anything because you think you ‘have to’, you likely aren’t enjoying it and it is probably messing up what you really want.

However, maybe college is the right choice

You did say you are studying music and writing and loved that. That is awesome!

And you said you did not love some of the other classes. My question to you is: Can you change schools or curriculums to have more of the classes you love?

And my other question is: Can you shift your motivation for even some of the classes you don’t love, to be in alignment with your dream, so that you may be excited about doing well in them even if you don’t love them?

For instance, many artists fail because they don’t understand business, finance and marketing. Imagine if you were immediately at the top of your industry because you not only understood these things, but handled them brilliantly?

Can you get excited about English, because it could help you write well? Creative Writing, because it could help you tell the story in your songs? Phys Ed, because a well balanced body will perform better?

You don’t necessarily have to stop doing the things you do, to start feeling good. You can simply change the motivation underneath them.

Instead of motivating out of ‘have tos’, start motivating out of the love for a successful music career.

But first, change the belief that holds you hostage – because until that is different, you probably won’t be able to change the motivation at all.

I hope this helps Excited. Sending you love and light to create all you have dreamed of and more.

In joyous creation,


Boni Lonnsburry is the author of three books including The Map - To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True and the founder of Creation School, a place to develop conscious creation skills into artistry.

Read the comments, or add yours

  1. Rachel

    Thank you!! I was so happy and excited when I read this because it is EXACTLY what I needed! I really believe that I was holding onto the belief that I could not be successful if I didn’t complete college. I’m going to stay in college, though, but next semester I will have more classes that are focused around what I really want to do. I also liked the idea of changing how I look at the classes I don’t particularly love! Overall, this is a great article. Thanks again!



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