Entitlement Is A Choice

Entitlement is something we choose; nobody forces it on us. We rarely benefit from it. Do you remember that emergency surgery? The one that saved your life? When the surgery was completed the doctor left a scar. We can choose to be grateful for our next breath, our next step, our ability to stand on our feet and walk.

We can find a way to be furious, to complain about the cost, how that scar could have been a lot smaller and how trained the doctor was. On top of that he wasn’t very nice. We’re entitled to a nice doctor!

The other option is to choose to just be grateful.

Marketers have spent trillions to influence us that we can have it all, that we deserve the best and that right around the corner there’s always something even better; a better product, a better service or a better job. Politicians have told us that they will handle everything and will make our countries better if we vote for them. They tell us that our pain is real and that a better world is imminent.

Of course we believe it, we buy this concept. Our expectation is that our privilege entitles us to even more. It’s not based on reality it’s a choice. It’s not based on status or reality. It’s a cultural choice. You are entitled to your entitlement if you want it. But why would you?

Entitlement gets us nothing but heartache. It blinds us from seeing what’s possible. It insulates us from the magic of gratitude and most importantly it lets us off the hook, pushes us away from taking responsibility and instead pushes us towards blame games and anger.

Gratitude on the other hand, is just a choice. Gratitude makes us open ourselves to possibility. It brings us closer to others. It makes us happier. Here’s a simple life hack;

We are not grateful because we’re happy. We’re happy because we’re grateful.

Everything could be better.

Not because we deserve it (and we don’t, not really).

But because if we work at it, invest in it and connect with others around it, we can make it better. It’s on us.

It’s difficult work, counter-instinctual work that never ends.

But we keep trying. Because it’s worth it.

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