I’ve heard it said that the world doesn’t owe you anything. If so, you don’t owe the world anything either. This idea rings false. It assumes there is no obligation between you and the world because you haven’t given each other anything. The world has given you life. How could that be nothing? In one sense it is nothing until you create something out of that life.
Does society owe you a job when you get a degree? What about training for a job like computers and then the positions get outsourced to countries with lower wages and there are no jobs for you with your new degree and student debt?
It can seem like you’ve made contributions to society but society isn’t giving back. What really causes success? Is it determination and effort and planning and doing? Is it making your path and following it? Is it believing in yourself?
The secret to success is having the will to do what it takes to get where you want to go. That makes all the difference between success and failure. It’s continuing when the work gets outsourced to another country. It’s continuing when there seems to be nothing you can do to make your life plans work out. Many who have become great successes went through many bad times early in life and still managed to come out at the top of their field.
Your Choices Matter
The state of things for you now is the result of your own choices. It’s not other people out to get you. Other people are interested in themselves just like you. All of the situations you get into are ones that you got into yourself and that you can get out of yourself. You must take full responsibility for your own life if you want to turn it into the life of your dreams.
There’s a stimulus-response thing going on sometimes. Maybe you aren’t responding in the best way for you. If you always put the other person first, you aren’t working toward your dreams. You’re working toward someone else’s dreams. It’s good to help others but not at your own expense.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said in “Compensation”, the world always balances itself out. When you do something for others, you receive compensation. When others do something for you, you take on an obligation.
Obligation is not automatic. There are people who will do things for you without being asked in order to create an obligation. They are users who want to create a need. A need for them. Watch out for those kind of friends. A gift conferred creates no obligation.
There are other people who are all about receiving and not giving anything back. These are a similar kind of friend. They may be the same ones. They start by doing small things for you without being asked. Once they get a need established, they reverse it. Then you have a parasite attached to you. Don’t be available to them and they will leech onto someone else.
Be Aware of Your Focus
Which activities are working for you? Which activities are not working for you? Are you doing what is needed to move yourself closer to your dream life?
Instead of focusing on what the world owes you, focus on what it has already given you. An attitude of gratitude will keep you positive. What can you do with what you’ve already been given?
Keep working on what you want out of life. When you can’t sell your work, give it away. Expecting something back will only work against you. Expect nothing and you can’t be disappointed. You will be doing what you want to do with your life and improving your knowledge and skills. Even if you’re getting nothing back from all of your giving, when the opportunity comes up to work at what you love, you will be ready.
Article text copyright 2012 David Arthur Smith. All Rights Reserved.