The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. ~George Bernard Shaw
This is the mantra many of us have adopted since the early 2000’s. All kinds of self-help gurus and well meaning peoples, have urged that we dig deep and realize our worth and proclaim it, assert it and if need be announce it. I do not deny that this is good advice. Please don’t get me wrong, but to certain types of individuals, this well meaning advice can totally miss the mark. I am not telling you that that thought process is not worthwhile, what I am saying is it is not clear enough, and as such may instead of motivating us to personal success, create egomaniacs. We all are deserving and no one deserves to be treated badly.
See, the problem is not the idea behind the saying, it is how some assert it. Instead of saying “I deserve” try saying this, “I will no longer accept.” Can you see how the change in phraseology makes a more powerful self affirming statement? The prior still seems to leave you open. It still seem like you are trying to get what you should have. Take this statement, “I deserve respect” and contrast it with “I will no longer accept any poor or shabby treatment.” In addition to the latter being more defining, the prior still somehow makes one seem like a victim in transition where as the latter says victim no more.
So, how about the ego part of that phrase. In my opinion, sometimes a well meaning affirmation such as this one, can become an out of control demand cry. I firmly believe that viewing the world in terms of what we should have, what we deserve or how we are supposed to be treated sets one up to possibly believing they are entitled and no amount of inconvenience will be tolerated. We are not guaranteed anything in life. Life works or doesn’t work based on our perception of situations. The more situations that we meet with a sense of entitlement, regardless of how we got that view, the more we make life difficult and challenging. Instead, of being overly concerned about what you should have, it is far more productive to just know what you will not long accept. The prior can anger you into action and the latter can help you create thought out healthy decisions.
So what do we deserve? Well, we deserve to be happy, but that is something no one can give us. In our pursuit of happiness, we have to be ever mindful of the things we allow ourselves to believe, the actions we allow ourselves to accept or the ones we perpetrate, our perception of situations, our desire to make judgement calls, our lack of forgiveness, our unchecked ego and pride and our ever increasing need for justice. These actions will definitely usurp our happiness and crush any potential joy. It also precipitates a need for claiming what we feel we are deserved instead of shifting our perception and view of the situation and, in the most dire of instances simply eliminating the issue. We cannot change people or their thoughts, so why not work on what we can change, our thoughts! Why not become people who do not require anyone’s compliance to make things better in our lives. If we can get that from others that is great, but if we can’t we must be able to have a course of action that we can take on our own to help us maintain our balance and happiness. In my opinion, the things that one does to maintain their joy and happiness, automatically takes care of one getting their needs met AND extraordinarily lessens that list.
So, what do I deserve? I deserve to treat myself with love and respect as defined by me and, realize that my circle of happiness is not complete unless I give it to you too!