There seems to be a growing trend of entitlement in society today. So many have begun to believe that because we live in an era of prosperity, that we’re entitled to things – that because air is coursing through our lungs and blood is pumping through our veins, some organization, government, entity, or individual owes us something. I’m here to tell you that no one owes you anything. If you want something out of life, go out and get it.
And, that’s the beauty of the world in which we live. We have the opportunities to go out and create exactly what we want. Opportunity is everywhere. When we assume that we’re owed something, we limit ourselves to the opportunities and abundance otherwise available.
See, what a lot of men believe is that their wife is responsible for their happiness. Or, that it’s their employer’s responsibility to ensure they have a job. Or, that it’s the government’s job to provide me with health insurance and a living wage. This line of thinking is absurd. It’s ridiculous to believe that you deserve something you didn’t earn. If you want it, you go out and get it. Earn it.
One of the biggest challenges with this entitlement mentality is that you begin to put yourself at the mercy of other individuals, organizations, and/or institutions. Take health insurance, for example. People ask that the government provide them health insurance, then we complain when the benefits aren’t exactly what they’re looking for. They ask that their employers provide job security then complain about the way that he runs their business. They ask their wives to keep them happy and fulfilled then complain when they aren’t doing it the way they think they should. This is the problem inherent in asking other people to give you what you think you deserve. You sell yourself short. You don’t have any right to complain about something when it’s handed to you.
If you really want better benefits, income, job security, health insurance, etc., great, go out and get it! Use the skills, tools, resources, and the virtues you possess as a man to go out and earn what it is that you’re after.
Disclaimer #1: I’m not talking about doing anything illegal, or immoral, or unethical. As long as it falls within the bounds of legality, morality, and being ethical, go out and you earn it.
Disclaimer #2: I’m also not suggesting that you don’t accept help. This is not being too prideful to accept a hand up when needed. This is about your ability to go out, provide, and carve your own path.
Let’s break down five key strategies for earning your way:
IF YOU SEE A PROBLEM, FIX IT
Men are inherently designed to solve problems. What I see too often is men who recognize a problem then sit back and wait for somebody else to do something about it. Most men believe it’s someone else’s responsibility to fix things. You can hear it when a man says, “Well, my boss wanted me to do X, Y, and Z, but he wasn’t willing to pay me more. So, to hell with that. I’m not going to do that.”
When you subscribe to that line of thinking, you miss a powerful opportunity to expand, grow, and push past what you were previously capable of. You also miss out on powerful opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be presented to you. If there’s a problem in society, your job, your relationship, go out, fix it, and you make yourself indispensable.
STOP WAITING FOR PERMISSION
Stop waiting for the higher-ups, the higher powers, your boss, the government, and/or your wife to tell you when to act, how to act, and why to act. Go out and do it yourself. Remember the adage, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.” But so many men don’t do that. They sit by and wait. They see what needs to be done and don’t do anything about it. Then they have the audacity to be upset when those problems don’t get resolved.
Great news – you can go out and do it. You don’t need to wait for your boss. When you learn to take action without permission, you prove that you are valuable, that you have something to add, that you aren’t just taking from the equation but adding to it.
Nobody expects much from you. I’m not suggesting they believe you’re not capable. I’m suggesting that most people understand this is the default of the majority of society. It’s the natural man. The natural man is lazy. He’s immediate gratification. He wants something for nothing. He wants the results without the effort. If you can prove to yourself and those around you that you’re willing to exceed what is expected, you make yourself so valuable that people will not be able to overlook you.
So what is the expectation? Find out. What does your wife expect? What do your children expect? What does your boss expect? What do your clients expect? Now, go out and you exceed that expectation. Surpass what they thought was possible and watch your life and the way people treat you change.
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
Gentlemen, asking for what you want is a very easy way to get what you want. The reason most people fail is simply because they don’t ask for what they want. Ask. Be assertive (here’s a great little workbook I recommend for this called The Assertiveness Workbook).
If you want something, ask. Nobody is going to read your mind. Nobody is going to try to guess what you’re after. Nobody is going to bend over backward and go out of their way to give you something if they don’t know what it is you want. But if you ask for what you want, then it’s likely you will get exactly what it is you’re after.
TAKE CALCULATED RISKS
Inherent within us is the ability to take risks, more so, I believe, than women. We are designed to push the bounds. When I tell you to take calculated risks, I’m not saying to be dangerous. I’m not saying risk yourself or jeopardize your family’s well-being. But I am saying that you should take some more calculated risks because you never know what life will hold for you unless you’re willing to push those bounds a little bit.
Don’t be complacent. Don’t be satisfied. Don’t be okay with the status-quo. When you go out and take calculated risks, sure, some of those things aren’t going to work out. But you’ll be surprised at how often some of these risks will actually pay off and produce results you didn’t previously think you were capable of.
So let me recap these strategies:
- If you see a problem, fix it.
- Don’t wait for permission.
- Exceed expectations.
- Ask for what you want.
- Take calculated risks.
You’re on a mission. Don’t sell yourself short. I don’t want to live that way. And, I don’t want you to live that way. I want you to do and be everything that you’re capable of being. We do that by understanding that nobody owes us anything and acting upon that knowledge. No one is here to rescue us but that’s okay because we don’t need that from other people. What we need to do is to assert ourselves go after what we want in this life.