Entitlement is a poisonous potion you drink that makes you believe you deserve something that you don’t. It is a cocktail of choice that many people get drunk on never realising the damage it is doing.
Entitlement is delusion. You must rip it out of your system like a smouldering piece of cloth and cast it down in the dirt.
Just because you do something, that doesn’t automatically mean you should get the results you want. If what you do sucks, you should get results that suck. And even if you do all the right things, it doesn’t always work out. Perhaps your timing was off? Perhaps it was just plain bad luck?
If you think the world owes you something, it doesn’t. It never has and it never will.
If you give with the expectation of something in return you are setting yourself up for failure. If you give and think that just because you did something someone owes you, you are not going to like what happens. A few people will reciprocate out of guilt. Most people simply won’t. There was no agreed upon contract that stipulates that they are supposed to give you something in return. This is not a bank loan where you owe the bank money. If you give with expectation you are a bank giving away free money expecting the money to be given back. You’re gonna be out of business really fast.
If you give with expectations you create entitlement. People owe you something in your mind. But they have no idea that they owe you something and yet you think they do. It is a figment of your imagination. Pure delusion.
Naturally, if they don’t reciprocate you are gonna be pissed. You will behave in erratic ways, deploying passive aggressive strategies and adopting pessimistic perspectives. The world is full of ungrateful bastards. Everyone is so mean. People hate me.
Entitlement is a poison you choose to ingest. It is a choice you make to believe something that is not true. It is only true in your reality but not in the reality of the person who supposedly owes you something. It is only true in your mind.
Entitlement will ruin your life. It will create resentment and bitterness in your person. People can smell entitlement a mile away. It reeks of arrogance and undesirability. People will avoid you like the plague. You will only attract the flies and rats of life.
Stop thinking you deserve things that weren’t mutually agreed upon by you and the world, people, or things.
“Oh, but this person should know that I expect this,” you say.
Oh, but they don’t. And they shouldn’t. If it is implied it is subject to interpretation. How can I know something you never tell me? If you try to show me with subtle hints without ever saying it, don’t be surprised if I don’t pick up on it. Why hide behind subtleties instead of saying what you actually want? Are you scared? If so that is perfectly fine. Develop courage.
Non-communicated expectations ruin relationships. I expect you to clean the dishes, but I never tell you, resentment builds. You expect me to give you a hug before going to bed, but you never tell me, resentment builds. When enough resentment accumulates the relationship falls appart.
The greatest predictor of whether a couple will stay together in the next five years is this: if either partner expresses contempt for the other through their body language, during a conversation, you can be sure that the couple will not last.
If you have a child, that child doesn’t owe you anything. It is not your property. You don’t deserve anything just because you decided to copulate a while back. They can give you credit for bringing them to life, but even that they didn’t choose. They might even choose to blame you for it.
Your partner doesn’t owe you anything. If you have an expectation you must communicate it. Just because you’ve been together for two years doesn’t mean they owe you anything. It’s a partnership. If you start expecting things that were not clearly communicated you will resort to guilting and shaming, harbouring resentment and frustration.
Your friends don’t owe you anything. Strangers don’t owe you shit. The world doesn’t either.
If you make a product that is terrible, you are not entitled to a profitable business. You deserve to fail. If you didn’t train, you deserve to fail. If you didn’t prepare enough, you deserve to fail. If you’ve made mistakes, you deserve the results you get.
You’ve got to up your deserve-it factor. You only get what you deserve. Do you deserve what you have? Did you put in the work? Are you wishing for one million dollars? Do you deserve them? Are you worth a million dollars? What value are you bringing the world?
You must have the humility to look at actual real world results. What happened? Look at reality. Objectively. Does your product suck? Have you made big mistakes? Are you behaving like a dick?
If you have no friends and girls don’t like you, the real world results are that you have no friends and girls don’t like you. There is probably a good reason for it. Based on your past actions you deserve to have no friends and not be liked.
If your business is failing, the reality is that it is failing. There is probably a good reason for it. You don’t deserve for it to continue thriving just because it did in the past. Circumstances change, the market changes, technology changes.
If your child hates you, the reality is that your child hates you. There is probably a good reason for it. You had better be humble enough to consider it might have something to do with you and your past behaviours.
If your partner just left you, the reality is that they just left you. There is probably a good reason for it. Of course it hurts. Have the humility to learn from what just happened.
You can choose to blame, complain and be bitter, to harbour resentment and continue to feel entitled. But why hang onto the past and continue to tell painful stories when you can just look at what happened, do your best to figure out what went wrong, learn from it, grow from it, use it as motivation to get better and move on?
Sometimes reality isn’t that comfortable. It takes courage to crawl out of your dome full of delusions and expose yourself to the light of truth. To creep out of Plato’s allegorical cavern and face the sun. The sun is blinding and hurts your eyes when you first come out. But your eyes will adjust. The beauty of the world will be revealed to you.
Have the courage to look at reality. Be objective. Cultivate the necessary humility. Learn. Grow. Improve.
The next time you are tempted by the powerful poison of entitlement, exercise your freedom of choice and say no. Opt for some water instead, stay level headed.
And remember: No one owes you shit.