Forgetting that shiny things require dirty work

When we are young, the problem is not only that we want everything, but that we assume it’s ours. For the asking, for the taking, and yes, for free. 

This attitude locks us into the cycle of hurt. Our expectation leads to controlling behavior, which causes disappointment, which builds resentment, which restarts the process all over again. 

And it persists until we are sharply awakened to a simple but scary fact:

The world does not owe us anything. 

It’s actually the other way around. We are the ones with the obligation. The onus is on us. Not to sit back and write gratitude lists until we are green in the face and world is sufficiently tricked into giving us what we deserve, but to live a useful life that earns the right to receive gratitude from others. 

My friend works as the head of talent at a burgeoning startup, and he has an interesting theory around this trend. His company receives critical reviews from former team members, as any public facing organization does. And naturally, he does everything he can to understand that person’s side of the story and look for ways to improve the workplace as a result. 

Each complaint is a gift, right? 

But each complaint is also a mirror, he laughs. My friend told me that because the majority of his workforce is people in their early twenties, many of whom have friends working for glamorous tech unicorns that offer extravagant employee benefits like free catered lunch, onsite acupuncture and health care plans that cover gender reassignment surgery, of course they leave critical reviews. 

The vortex of comparison is too strong. Their expectations are too high. They want everything, and because their friends already have it, they assume it’s theirs too. 

No wonder they get so pissed when it doesn’t happen. 

The shoe of entitlement drops hard, don’t it? 

Remember, shiny things require dirty work. 

We don’t gain anything by thinking we should have everything for nothing


Are you living a useful life that earns the right to receive gratitude from others?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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