Why being successful and happy is not a matter of deserving it, but taking action to make it happen.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a coaching client who has become a little jaded, fearful and uncertain of whether or not he deserves to be happy, loved and successful.
He says that so many people around him have not had their lives turn out very good, and therefore why should he deserve to have it any better than they have it? My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
You could tell he’s going through a difficult part of his life, and this is something that all of us have to deal with. I know there is going to be plenty of people that are going to be watching this video that maybe it’s a tough day at work, you’re having a difficult time with your boss or your business partners, or a big client is jerking you around, or things aren’t going the way you want it to be. Or maybe things are going sideways with your girl.
Maybe you just lost a bunch of money in the stock market, or your crypto investments didn’t go the way you were expecting. Or you had a big real estate deal that was supposed to go through and you’re counting on that money, and then all of a sudden, at the last minute the deal blows up on you. And so, I think it’s a good email, because we’re all going to go through those kind of troughs in our life. All of us end up in the gutter at some times, where we just kind of don’t feel like our lives are progressing like they should be. And at the end of the day, success is making progress.
The reality is the great successes are long in coming. And so, how do you motivate yourself to get through those days when success seems way off in the future, it seems hopeless? If things aren’t going well, whatever our brains focus on, we’re going to get more of. And so, if we’re having a rough time, we tend to focus on what’s not going well, and then that expands and it looks worse than it is.
As Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds fear and doubt, but taking action breeds confidence and courage.” So, when you’re having a rough patch in your life where things don’t feel like they’re going your way, the best medicine that I’ve always found – besides working out and doing cardio and weight training, which always makes you feel better – is to lose yourself in productive action. In other words, being productive, taking action towards making your grandest goals and dreams a reality, just losing yourself in the process.
Maybe the things you want are way off, many months away, you’re waiting on a promotion. I just did a phone session with a client of mine who had been waiting a year for a promotion to come through. He had kind of hit the glass ceiling where he was working, and he didn’t like the people that he was working under. He was working for a big tech firm, he’s in a management position, and he’s not able to do the things that he really wants to do.
Because of some organizational changes, some of the most important things to him in his life that he got to do that he loved were now taken from him and given to somebody else who, quite frankly, was less qualified to do them, just because of the corporate structure. So, you can imagine that’s a very frustrating thing to go through. But he handled things very tactfully and was able to negotiate with his superiors in a tactful way not to piss off the people he was working under.
So, here we are a year later, and the job that he wanted and the promotion he wanted finally came through, but he had to wait a whole year for that to happen. But in the meantime, he was looking around, he was looking at other companies to potentially go work for. Because if the company that he was working for wasn’t willing to give him the opportunity he was looking at, is there a better opportunity out there? In other words, he’s trying to achieve his outcome.
His outcome is he wants to improve his quality of life by being more involved in the things he loves and enjoys that had kind of been taken from him unfairly. And so, whether he gets another opportunity at the company he’s at or somebody else comes along and offers the opportunity, he had multiple things going. He had multiple irons in the fire, as we like to say. And so, a year later, because he kept working and he kept trying where he was at, and he was also looking outside of his company, the opportunity opened up.
That’s a whole year. That’s twelve months of your life where you’re doing stuff that you don’t really want to do. And so, it’s tough to motivate yourself to go through that. It’s demoralizing because you’re up here, and then just because of the corporate world, you get knocked back down to here and you don’t want to be there. But sometimes this is the way life is. And so, you’ve got to learn to be patient when things like this happen.
How do you get through those days? How do you get through a year where you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly? And then, you wait around, and then, boom! The right opportunity opens up.
My name is Bob for all intents and purposes. I scheduled a phone session with you a couple months ago and was a bit nervous to talk to you for the first time.
Well, if you’re nervous to talk to me in a phone session, you shouldn’t be. I’m just an average, pasty white guy who’s trying to do extraordinary things. The difference between me and average people, or people that maybe you perceive as not being as successful or as authoritative, is I just simply take action when most people tend to sit around with their thumbs up their butt doing nothing.
I’m no great genius, or smarter or better than you or anybody else. The difference is, I always take action. I always move my life forward. And even when I don’t feel like it, I continue grinding forward. I have rough days as well. I have days where I doubt myself. I have a lot of big goals and a lot of big dreams, things I’m still trying to accomplish. And quite frankly, lots of them seem like they’re way far off in the future.
You can get demoralized if you look at how big the mountain is that you have to climb. You just have to look at, where do I go to put my foot right now? What do I have to do right now to get from where I am to where I want to be? How can I be maximally productive today, so when I go to bed tonight I can feel like I had a great day and I got a lot accomplished? That’s the important thing. You don’t want to be busy, you want to be productive. It’s really super important.
My question is about deservingness vs. entitlement. I’m a young man, (23 years old), and I grew up believing that the world owed me everything, and I was spoiled, ungrateful and entitled to everything, like a lot of other people in my generation.
Yeah, participation trophies have consequences. And so, people get their heads filled full of BS, and then they get out into the real world and they start having to provide for themselves and they realize, “Wow, it’s a dog eat dog world out there.” It’s ruthless in society, and nobody really cares. They don’t care about your problems or my problems, and they’re glad that we have them.
So, whatever you do on a daily basis, you have to do it for you. You have to have your own reasons and your own motivations, because at the end of the day, it’s up to you. You can choose to be productive or you can choose to be lazy. Either way, it all begins and ends with what you do and also what you fail to do.
Recently I became convinced that the world doesn’t owe me shit and I don’t just “deserve” anything in life – whether it be love, a great relationship, great friends, great career, etc.
It’s true. The world doesn’t owe you anything, it doesn’t owe me anything, and that’s the harsh reality. We have to go out and get what we want. When it comes to romance, we have to become attractive men. We have to become the kind of men that would attract amazing women to us.
That’s why it’s not so much necessarily about going out and picking up women or finding the right woman. It’s really about becoming the right man and setting your life up to create the conditions where the right girl will just effortlessly fall right in your lap and become a great complement to your life.
That’s why you’ve got to take care of you. And that’s what I talk about in “How To Be A 3% Man,” that really, at the end of the day, as a self-reliant man, it’s all about you, and what you do, and what you fail to do. So, become great at something you love and enjoy.
Find some kind of product, some kind of service, some kind of mission, some kind of purpose, some kind of cause greater than yourself, if you will, that you can get involved in, believe in, obsess over. Work at it tirelessly, becoming better at it, growing your reserve of knowledge, developing your gifts, your skills, your talents. Lose yourself in the process of chasing your dreams and your goals, because that’s what makes life exciting.
Especially, as you see little, incremental progress, you see yourself moving a little closer, you’re getting better at the things that you do. Your reserve of knowledge is growing, and you can see slowly but surely, things are starting to change for the better.
But if you’re just sitting around worrying about the future, or like in this case, worrying about, “Gee, I don’t deserve the right girl. Gee, I don’t deserve to have the things I want. Look at all the people around me that haven’t succeeded. I guess I’m going to be just like them,” that’s what happens when you sit around. Just like Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds fear and doubt. Taking action breeds confidence and courage.” Because taking action helps to make you productive for the day.
I find this realization to be quite depressing, and my sense of self-worth has dropped significantly.
Think about that. Think about the self-talk there. “Well, I’ve decided that my self-worth is less.” In other words, “I’m going to have to actually work to get the things that I want? It’s not just going to be handed to me?” Pretty much. But the reality is when you’re busy being productive and working, just kicking ass, trying to make a great life for yourself, that’s when a great woman comes along.
You weren’t even trying to meet her. Maybe you went to a friend’s birthday party or a happy hour with some friends, and there’s some cute girl that knows somebody that’s there, and you just click, and it’s easy and it’s effortless. And then, you’re just kind of always together after that – provided you learn what’s in “How To Be A 3% Man.”
I remember when I was in the construction industry, I was doing really well, I loved it, I was having a good time. And then, out of the blue, I wasn’t looking for it, I wasn’t looking to change jobs, I had a headhunter call me and he had heard about me from several people in the industry. He heard about how good and sharp I was and wanted to offer me an opportunity. So, just being amazing at my job got me noticed, and other companies tried to hire me away.
The same thing if you’re great in business. Maybe you work for somebody else and you become so good at it that other people come to you and say, “Hey, let’s go into business together.” Those opportunities drop in your lap when you become amazing. So, that’s why you’ve got to focus on you, and taking care of you, and the women, and the money, and the jobs, and the business, and those things will fall into place when you get focused on being productive and being great yourself.
So, from that perspective, by taking action, you become deserving and entitled, if you will, by being great. When you become somebody worth noticing, it’s like everything falls into your lap. That’s what you need to focus on. Instead of focusing on what’s not there, focus on “How can I become the kind of guy that will attract all of those things that I want?”
I have trouble understanding what you mean in your videos when you say I deserve all these wonderful things in my life.
You deserve it if you work for them, because then you make it a reality. But just sitting on your ass and zenning out, you know, as the saying goes, if you just zen out, they’ll come and take your furniture. You’ve got to participate in your own rescue.
I still feel like other people deserve to have great lives, but I see so many examples now of people around me whose lives didn’t turn out very well. Now, I tolerate lower standards of treatment and expect to be treated like just any other guy and don’t have much respect for myself. Please help me find some middle ground here.
I’d say, you need to lose yourself in being productive – being productive at changing your life for the better, being productive at growing your reserve of knowledge, developing your gifts, your skills and your talents. And if the company that you’re working for doesn’t recognize your amazingness, and you’ve kind of hit the glass ceiling like my client was, start looking around for another job, something better, something that can improve your employment situation and also your income.
The goal is to continually improve where you’re at. And so, it doesn’t mean that you’re definitely going to leave your job. It just means, if you have another opportunity that’s a better opportunity, you can give your current employer the chance to meet or exceed that opportunity. Or you can say, “Hey, it’s been real. Here’s my two weeks notice. I’m moving on to bigger, better things.”
Because when you take action and you try to make things happen to improve your situation, that’s what communicates that you deserve it. Just sitting around feeling sorry for yourself or like in this case, you’ve got to be meeting other people as well. You’ve got to continually try to be expanding your social circle. You want to continue to try to find more like-minded people to spend your time with.
If you’re surrounded by people who are mediocre and have low standards, well, if that’s all the people that you hang out with, the more you spend time with them, you’re going to naturally gravitate towards their level. But if you start spending your time around people that are kind of hungry, and they want more for themselves, and they’re willing to take action to improve their lives, you need some more people like that in your life.
You need some people that are trying to grow beyond their current social circle. Because every year of your life that you want to improve, it’s going to require your participation. You’re going to have to make the effort. Nobody’s going to save you, nobody’s going to fix you. Just take stock of your life.
What are you not satisfied with? Well, it sounds like from this that the people, your social circle, you’re not too excited about them or you don’t really have people in your social circle that inspire you. So, find some other like-minded people that want more for themselves, and spend more time with those kinds of people. Because then, you’ve got people that you feel like you’re kind of aligned with, who are also striving. They’re also trying to get from where they are to where they want to be in life. They’ll inspire you and you’ll inspire them, and maybe some of those mediocre people from your peer group, once they see you starting to succeed, maybe they’ll want to succeed along with you.
But you also have to remember that a lot of people want you to be successful, but they don’t want you to be more successful than they are. So, as you start to become more successful, you’ll probably notice some of the people in your social circle aren’t going to be very nice about it and aren’t going to have positive, encouraging things to say about it. And it’s important to recognize that that’s part of becoming successful as well. You may have people you got to cut loose from your life that are constantly trying to drag you down and keep you at their level, so they don’t feel uncomfortable about their own mediocrity.
So, if you’ve got a question or challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“You don’t get what you deserve in life. You only get what you negotiate and work for tirelessly to make happen. Nobody is coming to save you or to make your dreams come true. You must do that yourself. Successful people think in terms of decades when it comes to making their grandest goals and dreams a reality. Unsuccessful people think in terms of instant gratification, and if success doesn’t come right away, then it is hopeless and impossible and they simply give up trying and settle for a life of simply existing and being mediocre. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Successful people choose to be productive, while unsuccessful people make excuses and distract themselves being busy majoring in minor things.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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