Many coaches and self-development whizzes will talk about living the life you “deserve”, and how you somehow “deserve” certain things. But… You don’t deserve anything.
Because nobody does. And already, I have a good idea what most of you are thinking:
“But I’ve been miserable for so many years! I deserve to be happy!” “I’ve worked so hard! I deserve money!” “I’ve never slept with a girl! I deserve sex!”
No. You don’t deserve anything, and here’s why…
Whenever we do anything, we do it because it’s what everything in our lives leads towards.
When we do something out of habit, we run on autopilot. Our habits are formed through a myriad of contributing factors, internal and external.
Whenever we break habits, it’s because we use our will. But our will is just as much of an inescapable condition as our habits.
When we break habits, it’s because our habits have become unbearable. – To an extent where change is the only option. And whenever we try something new, our guiding contributor is our curiosity. Which is just as ingrained as our habits, our will, and everything else comprising our personalities.
I know: This is kinda heavy on the philosophy. Bottom line: We gotta understand and accept that life isn’t fair. Everyone is who they happen to be. They still don’t deserve anything more or less.
While this doesn’t mean we don’t have any will of our own, it simply means that our will isn’t “free”; it’s conditioned. The only things of which our thoughts, feelings and actions are independent are the things to which we aren’t exposed in the first place.
For example, you can’t somehow want pancakes unless at some point you’ve heard about the existence of pancakes.
“But we can invent things! Someone invented pancakes!”
Yes. And that person wouldn’t have been able to without hearing about the existence of flour, eggs, sugar, and water, and being disposed to combine them.
We’re not the unique center of the universe just because we’re self-conscious. We can combine things – willfully or accidentally. But the comprising elements need to be available to us first.
Also, this doesn’t mean there are no values. It’s just that there are no objective values.
Some might claim that empathy, love, and procreation is “bigger” than us, transcending generations. But in a larger perspective, it still falls flat.
Eventually, mankind dies. Like the five billion species before us. Eventually, Earth will be swallowed by the sun. There will be no individuals to experience “values”. And even though we might consider the existence of otherworldly species that might share a resemblance of these values, we have no way of knowing.
(Enough philosophy for today, I promise!)
Now here’s the liberating part:
If we want values, we just gotta pick ‘em for ourselves. Your values are as good as any. So stick by them. If need be, you can always change them as you go along.
The universe; destiny; God; whatever you call it, owes you exactly dick.
And therein lies liberation. Because…
Whenever we think we “deserve” something, we live by entitlement. And confident people have no need for entitlement. They know that the only reward we get is whatever we set ourselves up for, and that the path towards it is a purpose in itself.