You 'Deserve' Nothing; You Earn Everything
Earn your life instead of waiting for life to happen to you
If there was a gift of advice I could give to everyone days before Christmas, that took me years to understand after lots of failure, it's this:
You deserve nothing. Not a relationship. Not career success. Not wealth. Nothing.
You earn everything.
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It's been a pet peeve of mine when people throw around the word "deserve" for every situation, especially in response to something not going in their favor. What they don't understand is that deserving something is an entitlement and you're not entitled to anything in life.
As an emotional pick-me-up phrase, a friend might say "You deserve to be happy" or "You deserve to find someone who loves you" but the harsh reality is that you deserve neither of those things.
I remember during my single days people around me exclaiming how I was a good guy who "deserved" to find someone special but it wasn't true. I didn't deserve these things and I wasn't entitled to fall in love. I was single for a reason and I needed to work on myself to change it.
When my career was lackluster and I struggled to financially take care of myself, I'd get people saying how I "deserved" to make more money or find the right job opportunity that would make my career flourish. However, I wasn't entitled to this either.
There isn't much you have control over in this life and you can't predict everything with certainty but you can maximize the odds of things working in your favor. Deserving outcomes translates into an expectation of waiting for something to happen for you regardless of effort.
My issue with that nemesis of a word is that it inspires the wrong mentality in people when life doesn't turn out in their favor. Your lack of success, opportunity, or relationship must be due to some other external force because you're already amazing, right?
It gives people the false impression that no work is needed on their part and that if they wait long enough, things will magically fall into place. However, it probably won't & it'll leave people disappointed when the world doesn't bend in their favor simply because they exist.
If I were to go back in time and examine the areas that I was failing, it was either because I was doing something wrong, I hadn't invested enough effort into the endeavor, or it wasn't the appropriate time for it to happen.
Today, I've shifted my mentality as to the outcomes that I receive in my life by telling myself that I deserve nothing and earn everything that comes my way. The past few years have been a tremendous example of what happens when you stop waiting for things to magically happen.
"Effort" is a primary factor that is the difference between us excelling in life and living in mediocrity. We don't all start on the same starting line but where we finish strongly correlates to the effort (and resilience) we exhibit at any given task.
Some of us have more obstacles in front of us to make it to the point of success we want but these obstacles are tests of fortitude, not oppressive measures to hold you down. Nothing worth having is easy to obtain and we should be prepared to fight for whatever we want.
But you cannot welfare your way into things that most people want. It's not advisable to think that the reason you haven't received what you wanted is only external because you'll relinquish the little amount of power you have. Plus, it's not true: it's your fault too.
If you're the problem, you're also the solution and none of us are perfect; we can always improve. So, if you struggle to find a long-term relationship partner, maybe there is something about you that needs to change to attract who you want and it's not just them.
If you struggle in your career, maybe you need to work harder or improve your skillset to reach greater heights. Wherever you struggle, if you shift your mindset to an "ownership mindset", you'll find a myriad of areas in your life that you could improve to reach the summit.
But you deserve nothing. You're not a special unicorn who gets to wish for things most people want. And deep down...do you really want a handout life? Do you really want things to be given to you? Because I know humans typically don't even appreciate what they don't earn.
Wherever you fall short, God has given you the strength to overcome it. It's just a matter if you recognize this ability or not.
Earn your life instead of waiting for life to happen to you. Merry Christmas.