I’m a relatively average middle aged American white male who had a fairly “normal” upbringing by loving parents in a decent community. Nothing too special but definitely non-destructive in the sense that I wasn’t subject to very severe dysfunction. I’d say I’ve developed rather healthily overall. As I’m bombarded with experiencing other people, especially their unending barrage of unsolicited opinions via popular social media and the like, I grow a bit frustrated by what I see and can’t wrap my head around the skewed and irrational justification that drives a lot of people’s daily decisions and choices in life.

Sure, a lot of it is boredom and simple competition for attention that shouldn’t be regarded too seriously. I get that. But so many are so self-absorbed they severely lack healthy perspective. This is probably due to the silo effect everyone’s grown accustomed to through social media and today’s cultural climate but it’s really proving to be degenerative. There’s been a lot of recent research claiming that using facebook, etc. is making people unhappier overall. As a perpetual “over thinker”, I definitely agree. American culture especially, is only motivated by instant gratification and easy pay off. It’s such a low standard of existence. You can’t fix everything in life with band aids.

We expect to get things just because we want them…..whether we’ve earned them or not. Everyone’s looking for a handout or a short cut. It’s cancerous. I’m not speaking financially or anything so tangible. Just in a general sense of happiness with oneself and one’s existence.

The only thing we deserve from birth is the right to pursue whatever path is the most fulfilling through life. Lasting fulfillment is proving to be a foreign concept to many and is misinterpreted as just a lengthy string of short term satisfactions.

Just do yourself one favor. Think about the goals or accomplishments you’re working towards whether short term or long term and ask yourself if you deserve them? You’re not ready to actually benefit from your accomplishments nor value them properly until you truly deserve them. Ok, so how do you know that you actually deserve them? Because someone else has achieved the same thing with little/no effort? Because you’re growing impatient and are getting tired of working towards it? NO. Pretend you have the ability to just award anyone you’d like with one of their most desired and very valuable accomplishments. What would you need to see from that person to feel they have earned it and that you’re happy to award them with their desire.

It’s all about balance and paying an appropriate price. Your work and effort towards something must be proportionate to the reward. If it’s not, you’re stealing part of the price from somewhere/someone else. Then you argue “but I’ve put in 3 times as much effort as this other guy who’s already there. I’ve paid my dues yet I’m still not where I want to be.” It’s most likely because you’ve inadvertently paid part of the price for someone else who’s been manipulating and short-cutting their way to where they are.

Keep in mind, just because someone else is there, doesn’t mean they are happy or value it the same way you do. If they weren’t willing to make the proportionate effort, they didn’t value it as much in the first place and will never embrace nor reap the benefits of the accomplishment. They just get a temporary pat on the back. The instant gratification without lasting effect.

So, learn to truly deserve what you want by earning it the hard way. Here’s a dumb exercise: Next time you’re faced with an escalator or elevator, take the stairs. You’ll find a sliver of pride and accomplishment in that simple choice. If not, then you have more work to do on yourself. Apply that to the rest of your life and fulfillment is inevitable.