As I alluded in my previous post, a sense of entitlement is one of the attitudes that can set you back the most financially. Beyond finances, a sense of entitlement will make you soft, both mentally and physically.
“I deserve it” is something that you think to yourself AFTER you have done what you are supposed to be doing. “I lost 10 pounds, I deserve this pizza as a reward to myself.” Go ahead and reward yourself and, surprise surprise, you will gain the weight back a month later after treating yourself more and more frequently.
One lapse in discipline leads to another, which leads to three more. Weakness follows the pattern of the Fibonacci numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8…stay at zero.
Discipline is a skill that is built through a lifetime of deferring immediate rewards to benefit yourself later. Much like money invested wisely, the benefits of discipline compound over time. Caving in to your weak, creampuffy self now is a big “f*ck you” to your future self. There is more future Moose left than there is present Moose, so future Moose takes priority.
Let’s look at my own life for a moment and see how entitlement has affected me.
I have been lifting weights on a regular basis since I was 16. After leaving the military, I had the innate sense to be lazy. I’d been grinding and “embracing the suck” for my entire adult life and I wanted a break. I slept in until 8 am every day, when I once woke up at 5 am. I stopped exercising as frequently. When I started gaining weight, I convinced myself it was all muscle and that I was bulking up. I never stopped bulking up and five years later, I found myself considerably heavier than I was comfortable being. Thankfully I never stopped lifting heavy weights so I looked more like a powerlifter than a complete pud, but being even slightly overweight is uncomfortable.
I’ve course-corrected and dropped 30 pounds since then, but guess what? I’m right back to doing what I should have been doing all along. THIS is what entitlement or thinking you deserve things does to you. It robs you of time and progress you could have been making. Instead of being at +10, you’re at -10 and you have to claw yourself back to zero. Why not instead keep yourself in check and use that same effort, which you eventually put in anyway, to get ahead instead of barely hanging on? Imagine how far you can progress if you’re not constantly taking a step backward.
The most amount of time I ever spent “homeless” was 2 months. It was military training and I didn’t have a chance to shower once during that time or sleep in a bed. Our resupply was intercepted (yeah, sure) and we didn’t eat for five days. On the third day, my stomach was cramping so badly I could barely stand. We slept in the woods and constantly had to fight off ticks and other annoying critters. After that experience, a bed to sleep in, a warm shower, and the ability to choose when and what you eat seem like the ultimate luxuries to me. That experience taught me that the human body can survive on very little and thrive on basics.
Get by on only what you need and divert extra resources to your future. In doing so, you remove the Creampuff habit of blaming everything and everyone else for your failures. You realize that you largely control your fate and you’re not at the mercy of some imaginary enemy.
Next time you start to think “I deserve it”, I want you to instead think “I don’t deserve sh*t” and refocus on moving forward. Put down your Funyuns, pass over on buying that stupid object that you think will make you more attractive and/or improve your life, and do the right damn thing.
Entitlement is a root cause of unhappiness in life. Rid yourself of this and learn to be happy with what you have now. You’ll know you deserve it when you stop wanting it.