There are two approaches to life (a little overly simplistic, but bear with me).
- Feeling entitled to all good things
- Feeling grateful for all things.
The path we choose is entirely up to us.
A life of entitlement is the harder road. A sense of entitlement sets us up for a series of never-ending disappointments and frustrations. All the things that come along that we DON’T want and all the things that DON’T come along that we thought SHOULD have.
Here are just some of the things that we might feel entitled to:
- Good relationships
- A good/great job
- Money (lots of it)
- Success (however it’s defined)
- Nice house
- Nice car
- All the toys we want (because so and so has it)
- All the food we can eat (in unlimited varieties)
- Clean fresh water (duh!)
- Big vacations
- Fashionable clothes (and new ones as the styles change, of course)
- Wisdom and insight that others want to hear
The list goes on and on and on…and every item on that list, by definition, presents an opportunity for disappointment and frustration.
- Why am I not happy?
- Why did this illness happen to ME?!
- Why does nobody like me?
- Why did I get stuck in this lousy job?
- I’m sick and tired of not having the money I deserve!
- No one listens to a word I say!
- Why does EVERYONE else get the good jobs and I get stuck just chasing my tail?
- Why do I have to live in this poor excuse for a house?!
- My “other car” should be a Porche!
- Geez! Why can’t I have the new iPod? All my friends have it!
- What do you mean we have to eat meatloaf again?!
- I want bottled water, not that swill that comes from the tap!
- What?! I’m not going to Disney World?! Everyone goes to Disney World!!
- These jeans are so yesterday!! I need the new ones that are all torn up at the knees!
- I’m not going to throw my pearls of wisdom before swine!
The life of entitlement is a creativity killer—plain and simple. Trying to figure out why life has been so unfair at every turn takes up so much energy, there just isn’t enough left to beCURIOUS! or bePLAYFUL!
On the other hand…
A life lived with a grateful heart is one of peace. It is a life of clarity and contribution. Every circumstance has a purpose. Every opportunity, a blessing. beGRATEFUL! literally changes the trajectory of life itself. Entitlement kills creativity. Gratitude feeds creativity. It provides the inner strength to beLIEVE, beBRAVE!, beCURIOUS!, bePLAYFUL!, bePRESENT!, beCONNECTED and beRENEWED! It is the mortar between the bricks of a creative life well lived. Gratitude is the fuel that propels a life of unique, creative contribution that reaches levels never thought possible.
For more on beGRATEFULL! check out my book Burnout Sucks!