Dangers of entitlement on your path to happiness: A path to FIRE (financial independence retire early)

 

Shopping at high end stores

Dr. Steve Maraboli:  “A sense of entitlement is a cancerous thought process that is void of gratitude and can be deadly to our relationships.”

Welcome back!

In this post, I’d like to share my thoughts on the dangers of entitlement to your happiness, as well as dangers of entitlement to your financial independence.

Let’s first define what entitlement is:

Entitlement is defined as the fact of having a right to something or the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges and special treatment.

Throughout my early childhood until I turned 20, I felt entitled.  I believed the world owed me something for all the perceived ‘wrongs’ it has done to me.  I thought I was deserving of everything because the world made my childhood unhappy and difficult.  

I thought, wrongly, that just because I had a tough childhood, that something good had to happen.  This toxic thought process took hold of me in my teen years...

I had classic symptoms of someone with entitlement issues:

  • I expected rules to not apply to me which applied to everyone else.
  • I expected others to be more interested in me than I to them.  
  • I thought I was more special than others.
  • I inconvenienced others.
  • I thought it was ok to upset or offend people.
  • I was angry at the world.

It wasn’t until I met my future wife that I started to break this harmful cycle of blaming others, not taking personal responsibility, and feeling entitled.

There are many examples of people with entitlement issues ending up as cautionary tales:

  1. Childhood stars who commit suicides when their belief of the world no longer mesh with the real world.
  2. Average people ending up unhappy when the world doesn’t work the way they think it should.
  3. People constantly meeting someone to break up, then repeating the cycle, as no one can possibly meet their unrealistic expectations.
  4. Mired in constant disappointments, some people will blame everyone but themselves and show anger towards everyone and everything.

Bottom line:  Sense of entitlement is not going to make you happy nor help your goals of achieving financial independence.

How does sense of entitlement impede your path to financial independence?

When you’re entitled, you’re going to expect everything to be perfect.  Why?  Because you’re so special!  You’re going to expect life to treat you right, no matter the cost.  

You will expect nothing less than perfection from your life.  This will inevitably lead to impulse buying, taking expensive vacations, buying latest ‘hot’ car, and decorating your home for entertaining constantly.  This behavior will lead you down a path of financial ruin as no one can possibly pay for all these things to fill the black hole that can’t possibly be filled...

No one or nothing can possibly satisfy your unrealistic expectations...

How do we fix this sense of entitlement?

I’m no psychiatrist, but I’ll say this.  Entitlement works as long as someone keeps indulging that person.  You have to learn to say ‘No’ and stick to it.  Once the entitled person understands that he/she is not special, that the world doesn’t revolve around them, can there be change.  

We all should learn and practice gratitude.  We should all learn and practice good manners.  We should try to live like the famous Confucian quote, “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.

I finally realized the problem was not everyone else and everything else, but with me.  I needed to change my behavior to practice gratitude, to work hard, and push forward despite disappointments.  

All of these changes helped me break this harmful thought process.  Once this thought process stopped, I was then able to plan and commit to positive changes in my life and financial life.  

It started a snowball effect that would positively change my life for the better.  From buying our first home, to starting a career, and to starting a retirement account, I was no longer waiting / expecting things to happen, but rather pursuing it.  If something didn’t work out, I no longer blamed everything and everyone, but rather just took that in stride...

In conclusion:

It’s important to objectively assess yourself and ask if you’re entitled.  If you are, take the time to practice gratitude, practice good manners (treat others same way you want to be treated), and stop expecting things from the world.  The quicker you take personal responsibility for your own life, the better your life (personal, financial, mental) will be.  

Thank you all for reading!


Jake

Wandering Money Pig 


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