Get Over It. You Are Not Entitled To Anything And You Never Will Be.
While my friends from class went on long summer vacations to exotic locations, at the age of ten, I spent the summer working for my dad reconciling bank checks, filing and stapling papers, and other things that a ten-year-old could not screw up.
Midway through the summer, I thought that the six dollars he would pay me in the car ride home were not worth my time. I wanted more money because I was doing all the grunt work that he didn’t want to do.
During my lunch break, I asked if I could speak with him even though he was in the middle of crunching these long printed out sheets with numbers scattered across the pages.
“Sure. What’s on your mind?”
“I deserve a raise, dad. I have been doing all this work for you and six bucks an hour isn’t a lot.”
He turned his chair around and told me to sit at the circular table. He pulled his chair up and stared right into my eyes. His giant glasses covered a lot of his face, but whenever he wanted to emphasize or make a point, he’d take them off.
“Son, it does not matter who you think you are or what you think you deserve, you are not entitled to anything. You have to earn everything. Nothing is given to you nor will it be.”
My dad went as far to tell me that he would replace me with my five-year-old brother who couldn’t keep the drool in his mouth and was still holding on his green blanket from when he was born. He could pay them half the money he was giving me. I became quiet, and words escaped me.
“If you want a raise or you want something bad enough, work for it. Prove to yourself that you want it. There is nothing in the world that feels as good as a hard day’s work.”
He was right. I did think I was better than what he could get out on the open market. Folks would have killed to have a job like mine, and I had taken it for granted. I hadn’t earned respect from him to ask for a raise. I had walked in entitled without putting in the work or sweat equity to make the opportunity to renegotiate my wage.
I never brought up salary negotiations for the rest of the summer. I worked hard, I asked for more, and without notice, I ended up getting a .25 raise at the end of the summer. My dad handed me a check in the car ride home. I remember that moment I received that check because it was my first lesson in how to work.
A lot of us don’t want to do the work necessary to achieve great things or the things we deem essential.
We live in a world of instant gratification and things have to be right here, right now.
Relationships must fast forward to marriage, kids, the whole nine yards without taking the time to develop them.
Jobs must immediately lead to high paying executive positions without putting in the long hours needed to get there.
We want the world in the palm of our hand without the sweat and tears to make it ours.
You are not entitled to anything. You have to earn it. You have to go after that job you want and show you have earned that promotion.
If you want the best relationship ever, you have to make it a priority and commitment. You are not entitled to being in love. You have to put yourself in a position to receive it. It will not be given to you because you deem it necessary.
This week, ask yourself if you have done all that is necessary to get what you want.
Have you pushed your chips all into the middle of the table?
Have you put in a hard day’s work into the thing you value or want the most?