Entitlement is almost a buzzword nowadays. Millennials tend to be known as the entitlement generation—the “what’s in it for me?” group. However, entitlement is everywhere and if you really take a close look within yourself and at your life, I can almost guarantee that you have been touched by entitlement in some way, shape, or form.
Entitlement stems from the confusion of wants and needs. Our basic human needs are those of food, shelter, water, love, etc. Our wants are things like a bigger house, a better cell phone, a nicer car, etc. In our society of wanton consumerism, we are being told from every ad, TV show, and song that we deserve everything. That we can go into debt for that nicer car though we can’t afford it because we have “earned” it. By allowing ourselves and those around us to get everything we want without actually doing the hard work to get there, we are robbing ourselves of building the skillsets necessary to be successful in life: work ethics, responsibility, accountability, discipline, and patience.
When we constantly reward ourselves before we deserve it, we do not appreciate the reward like we do when we have truly earned it. Think about a time when you have scrimped and saved to buy something that you have truly desired—where you have waited months or even longer before you could get it. When you got it, it was probably something that you prized for a very long time and may still. Now, think about something you got yourself when you really shouldn’t have—we all have done it at some point—that new watch or piece of jewelry, the video game, etc., something you bought on a whim. How long did you prize that item before you lost interest in it? Probably a lot less than the first item. This is because by rewarding ourselves before we have earned it, we are conditioning our minds to think everything should come easily to us and we stop being willing to work for what we want. Then of course we always want more and the vicious cycle continues until we are just utterly lazy and totally overcome by entitlement.
Stop the vicious cycle now. Stop rewarding yourself before you have earned it. Realize that the process for working towards things is partly the reward itself. You will be rewarded with the skills you need to be utterly successful. All on your own.