The word entitlement has been thrown around a lot in the past few years especially in South Africa. However I feel that, at this time of lockdown, we all need to be extremely aware of its relevance to our own lives.
The tricky thing with entitlement is that many people are quick to see it but very few are willing to acknowledge it within themselves.
There happens to be a little thing in each of us that longs for people to express some level of pity towards us. That is why we tend to throw pity parties and gossip about all the things that are going wrong around us and the bad things that are happening to us.
This is also a form of entitlement. Yes, pessimism is a form of entitlement, the thought that we think people are obligated to listen to our constant bickering about how bad things are and how life is so difficult for us right now.
I think we need a HUGE wake-up call.
People owe us nothing, life owes us nothing, as a matter of fact, if anything we owe life everything.
If you think about it from an evolutionary perspective, all the energy that we have within us needs to be dispersed into the “universe” or at the end, the little we hold onto will leave us anyway. Best put it to good use and make room for more while we are here.
Biblically, or religiously, we were given all that we have for the time that we have so we best put our all into it.
If we actually take the time to think about it we will see that the insights of Jim Rohn are very true.
“The same wind blows on us all; the winds of disaster, opportunity, and change. Therefore, it is not the blowing of the wind, but the setting of the sails that will determine our direction in life.” – Jim Rohn
So here are some places that we can focus on achieving our greatest potential.
1. Stop spending time in front of the “income reducing box” AKA. The TV (or computer/gaming console)
Sure online gaming is becoming a big thing and people are making more money on it than some of the greatest sportspeople in the world. But it is HIGHLY likely that you are not one of them.
That means that the time you spend in front of that device is waste energy and potential.
Take it from someone who was a Grade-A potato in my early twenties.
Looking back I see all the time that I dedicated to binge-watching movies and series as well as completing every game I could get my hands on. The amount of time that I wasted behind a screen (while not being productive at all.)
Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place to relax and get some rest, but it’s not every day and it’s definitely not with hours spent distracted from reality.
“Make rest a necessity, not an objective. Only rest long enough to gather strength.” – Jim Rohn
2. Work harder and smarter.
Ok, so we have all heard the saying that you need to work smarter and not harder. I agree with the statement but what we have to realise is that it’s usually said by people who worked RIDICULOUSLY hard to get to the point where hard work stopped giving them the growth they needed to go to the next level.
Any scientist or high school student will tell you that in order to create the momentum you need a large amount of initial energy to get any object moving.
This is the same universal principle that you and I need to overcome if we want to reach our potential.
The beginning is always going to be the hardest part and so it’s going to require the hardest work.
BE READY FOR IT!
Why is this the case?
Our lives are essentially a collection of habits that we have collected over the many, many (and another many for some people) years that we have been on this planet. When we want to change anything about ourselves we need to very likely change a habit that we have drilled into our daily lives. THAT takes an unbelievable amount of hard work to accomplish. Just ask anyone with a new-years resolution.
But change we can, if we are willing to put in the consistent hard work and effort.
Are you ready?
3. Leverage technology for the greater good, not your entertainment.
Whether its social media, Google, Siri or any other form of technology, many of them have something in common today. It’s called the Internet of Things (IoT).
It means that everything is just about connected these days via the internet.
Just a few minutes ago I reprogrammed my lamp in my office with my phone to give me a slightly less blue colour for better concentration in the evenings.
And as scary as that might be for many people, here is what I will say, the internet is POWER. And we need to understand it and learn to leverage it.
There is a course that we will be putting out called HOW TO GOOGLE. Keep your eyes peeled. This will give everyone a fair understanding that you can find just about ANY information that you need today on the internet for FREE. You just need to know how to find it.
And that is why it’s so difficult for me to hear people today who say that they are failing at business, in life, in relationships, leadership, personal growth, etc because all of the information is already out there. They just don’t know or are too lazy to go and find it.
Now, I’m not saying that its easy to find something and become an expert at it. What I am saying is that there is no excuse to say “I don’t know how” in today’s world.
The fullest of your potential lies in the amount of knowledge that you can ingest and put into practice.
Which brings me to point number 4.
4. Just do it! (Copyright Nike)
So here is the thing.
Once we have the knowledge, we need to do something with it.
Could you imagine giving someone who is starving and on the brink of death a slice of bread and them not eating it because they are waiting for a Whopper Burger! Crazy right? Then why do so many of us fall into this trap?
More often than not we get all the information that we need but then never act on it because we think that there should be more. That there must be something that we are missing and that we can’t tell what the puzzle will look like without all the pieces first.
From first-hand experience I can tell you that if you look at the box all your life you will never finish the puzzle, you need to get your hands in the game and start placing the pieces that you do have into whatever space it looks like they are going to fit and then change it if they don’t.
We, as humans, have an incredible ability to see a situation in front of us and make instantaneous decisions to change direction to achieve a desired outcome. What we don’t have is the ability to tell the future to any degree.
Just because we can’t tell the future doesn’t mean that it’s not coming, it’s just a matter of whether you decide what you want it to look like by taking action to design it or whether you trust complete strangers to build the future that you want.
I don’t know about you but I don’t trust many people with my future like that. I’d rather design it myself.
The problem is that building doesn’t just fall from the sky, it has to be imagined, planned, paid for and physically built.
Morel of the story, your life stays how it is today unless you just do it! (and by ‘it’ I mean that thing that moves you closer to your dream future…legally…and morally.)
5. Analyze and Adjust
For this ONE reason, most people give up on their dreams. They are not willing to analyze and adjust their next action.
Failure, or the defeat of not achieving a goal in a particular manner or timeframe, can be such a hard pill to swallow that many people just spit it out and revert back to the self-pity with confetti that we discussed earlier.
People then give them props for trying and a pat on the back for “givin’ it a go” but you know, “these are hard times”, “don’t be so hard on yourself.” Where in actual fact that is exactly what we have to be with ourselves.
When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you. – Zig Ziglar
The thing about honest reflection is that it has to be honest. If you don’t feel it, then it isn’t real. If it isn’t real then what’s the point in facing it?
Maybe that’s why the acrostic of False Evidence Appearing Real is such an apt representation of what FEAR actually is?
What often happens is that we look at the outcome of the attempt that we made and see the fact that we didn’t achieve our goals. We then assume that the thing we really wanted is unattainable because, well, we did everything we could and didn’t get it the first time. Talk about a God complex…
What we need to realise is that its a matter of numbers. The more you try, the greater the odds of getting it right, provided that you adjust at least one variable with each attempt.
Does this mean that we can achieve anything we set our minds to? Pretty much. But taking into consideration limitations like time etc, we need to use our advanced human intellect to wisely decide what to continue pursuing and what to let go of.
But my no means does that suggest that we should stop trying to achieve our potential or our goals. What it means is that perhaps we have been plowing the field for so long that it’s just about time to find another field?
There are so many things in life that we will never know about ourselves unless we expose ourselves to them.
If there is one takeaway that I would want you to leave with today its this.
You can do things you never knew were possible for you. It’s not that you are incapable, it’s more likely that you just don’t know those things exist.
When you try and fail, understand that you only truly fail when you stop trying.
Stop accepting the excuses that you make for yourself and start intentionally living a full life where you will leave everything you have within you in this world before you leave it.