Beware the Entitlement Mentality

Entitlement mentality - introduction

Are you erroneously thinking that the world owes you something? Are you looking to others to do something for you rather than focusing on what you can do for yourself?

It is very common for people to feel that those in authority or those that are successful owe them something. This kind of thinking can be seen in many situations. A good, but extreme, example would be the beggar in the street who feels that because you are driving a nice car you should give him something for a meal.

Coming closer to many people’s experience, another example would be the relative who feels that because you are well educated and have a good job you should take over his responsibility of seeing one or two of his children through school. Then there is the employee that feels entitled to a promotion because they have served long in an organization.

Entitlement mentality – no ones owes you anything

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of the examples I have given. But the fact is that even if I had a billion dollars it would be totally up to me to decide whether to give the beggar the money or whether to sponsor those children through school. Similarly if I were the owner of the company it would be totally up to me to decide whether to promote you based on your long service.

The bottom line is that whatever decision I would make in all these cases would be correct. I may be compelled to help you by my spiritual convictions and beliefs, but even that would be up to me, not you. The fact is that, apart from very few very specific cases, no one is entitled to anything from anyone.

Our dependence on the donor community is one area where we often feel entitled to the point of irrationality. We expect donors to give us resources to take care of many of our problems. But are we trying to raise these resources ourselves? Is there no form of enterprise we can undertake that would give us the required resources? Yes, the donors have money, but it’s their money. They are free to give it to whoever they please. What is required is not always more donor funding, what is required is more self reliance and initiative.

Entitlement mentality – you owe it to yourself

The only person that is responsible for getting you what you want in life is yourself. The entitlement mentality of thinking someone owes you something is one that you should not have.

The catchphrase on television these days seems to be “government should do something about it.” The government is called upon to take care of all manner of problems and whilst some are truly its responsibility, the majority are not. The majority are the individual and community’s responsibility.

However, the politicians don’t make it easy on themselves because rather than telling people that they are capable in one way or another of solving most of their own problems, they prefer to make huge promises they cannot deliver on even if they had the capability.

Entitlement mentality – a hard lesson

The problem of the entitlement mentality is so far reaching that even countries like the United States are facing massive problems because of it. Their health-care and pension systems are under enormous strain. They simply cannot afford to pay for all the people that are on these programmes. So much so that Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki have written about it in their book “Why We Want You to be Rich.”

In this book they say: “The best way to solve the problem of bad financial results is to change our thoughts…That means losing the entitlement mentality…If we do not stop expecting the government to take care of us, we will continue to have the same results – a bankrupt nation filled with well-educated but financially needy people.”

The fact that a country as developed as the US should fall into such a trap of promising its citizens it will take care of them in their old age and when they need health care and failing to deliver on it should be a lesson to every country and individual in the world.

You cannot depend on the government to take care of your every need. It is far better to empower yourself and to be able to take care of yourself in every way possible. But that is hardly what the politicians, and even the people, want to hear. Everyone wants an easy way out. Everyone wants someone else to take care of them and sort out their problems. A change of thinking is needed at all levels.

Entitlement mentality – get financially literate

In no single area is such a change of thinking required as in the area of financial literacy. The ability to make money and to make it work for you is an ability that will do you a world of good. Read the right books on financial literacy. Do a short course in accounting or investing or anything else around the subject. Attend seminars and workshops. Start a small business and learn how to manage and grow a business.

Do not leave your financial future in uncertain hands by trusting pension schemes, health schemes and a whole lot of other schemes that are not in your control. Just do something different from everyone else because, as Albert Einstein said, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Entitlement mentality - conclusion

The truth of it is that you are a person with everything to offer your country and the world. Yes there are problems out there, but there are also plenty of opportunities. Why are some succeeding in the same environment? What’s to stop you from succeeding?

Realize that you alone have ultimate power over your future and what happens or doesn’t happen to you. This should be a liberating and empowering thing. Take hold of it and use it well. The world owes you nothing. Don’t gamble your life away with the entitlement mentality.

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.
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