Daily Bread Just Tastes Better When You Slice it Yourself

I’ve always believed that what’s earned is sweeter than what’s given. Do you agree?

I’m obsessed with earning things, even to the point of avoiding help sometimes (I’m trying to change that).  I just never wanted to be the guy who “made it” because someone gave it to me.

I want to earn my dreams.



Just watch the average Christmas or birthday gift opening session and you’ll see what I’m talking about. While there will always be some exciting gifts, most gifts I’ve seen (or given) have been set aside with a brief “thanks” and fail to make an impact.

That’s how life works too.  Earning something matters:

  • Students who pay for their own college usually don’t get drunk every night.
  • Business owners who build their companies typically lead them better than those who inherit them.
  • Employees that earn promotions usually care more about their work than those who get promoted due to nepotism, intra-office relationships, blackmail, etc.
  • Nearly 100% of people who win the lottery blow it all and end up poor.

In nearly every case that I’ve seen, the people who earn something always cherish it more than those who are given it.

I want to cherish my life.

Reality Meets Ideology


In reality, rarely does anyone accomplish anything 100% on their own.  Believe me.  I learned this the hard way trying to do too much alone.

In almost every case we are in our current situation because of others.

However, this fact doesn’t mean a collaborative life has to be meaningless and empty because we didn’t “earn it” every inch of the way.  The above principle still applies. The way we feel a sense of accomplishment is when we effectively use what we’ve been given to accomplish more, push further, and find a way to slice the daily bread that’s been given to us.

In this metaphor, we may not earn “the bread”, but we do earn what happens when we slice it, cook with it, and use it to do something amazing.  In other words, just because someone gave us the bread doesn’t mean we didn’t earn the french toast, bread pudding, or club sandwich we just made.

Earning is a mindset.

If you care about your employees, family members, or friends…help them earn something.  Don’t just give it to them.  That’s the best gift you can give.


I want my children to live a fulfilling life of meaningful achievements and I think it starts when they’re young.  Today, my wife and I gave our 4 year old daughter her first bike.

However, she had to “earn it.”

She did extra chores, weeded the garden, hauled hedge clippings, and helped dad with a commercial (below).  When she saw the bike that she earned, it may have been the sweetest moment in her entire life!

Success!  Accomplishment!  Earning!

Her hard work paid off.  Now she’s got a taste for hard work, winning, and her shiny new bike.

Tonight my friends, I urge you to keep slicing your own bread, make those around you earn it, and cherish your life.

Have a great night!


PS. Here is that commercial I produced for a social media campaign that Sydney was in. Let me know if you have feedback:

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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

16 comments on “Daily Bread Just Tastes Better When You Slice it Yourself”

  1. My almost 3-yr-old and his 5-yr-old brother picked up rakes the other day and said to me,”We’re WORKING!” I hadn’t asked them to. I said, “And I’ll pay you a dollar for that!” Yesterday my husband took them to the Dollar store. They love the mini trucks there. James(2 1/2) came through the door beaming,”I did yard work for this!” I couldn’t believe he’d remembered and connected the dots! I agree with you that there’s a joy and a necessary growth that comes from earning it yourself. I still get frustrated when I’m stuck and sometimes wish someone with more knowledge and skill would come in and “do it for me”. But I learn more and am more fulfilled when I work hard and achieve. Maybe slower than most, but the job gets done eventually!

    Excellent thoughts!


    1. Betsy, that’s a great story! Thanks for sharing this story and I’m definitely in full agreement with your thoughts on the issue.

      Sounds like James is off to a great start! :-)

  2. Hey Justin, you nailed it here, there is such a sense of achievement from knowing that what you have is a result of your own hard graft. I especially resonated with what you said about “those who pay for their own schooling tending not to get drunk every night”. The thing is we place more value on the things that cost us something, be it time,money or energy. If we have had to extend ourselves in some way in order to attain it, it usually has more value at least to us. And for some strange reason, which I have never been able to fully understand, those i’ll gotten gains, attained by unsavoury means, seam disappear really quickly too!! Just a thought

    1. Hi Stacey, I noticed you called me Justin. Dede just called me that too. I need to change my last name I guess…haha!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that I’m not the only one that noticed that college kids that earn it work harder.

      Thanks for the comment and let me know if you have a suggestion for a new last name. :-)

  3. Love it. Too bad, too many in this country have this sense of entitlement so deeply embedded in their psyche that it would take a massive amount of time and energy to undo it (or at the very least some sort of traumatic event that would force them to “get up off it and get on with it”).

      1. I’m afraid it is rarely the children of the ambitious, business-minded entrepreneurs and 8pm Warriors that suffer from the entitlement syndrome. (Unless your talking about the grandchildren / great-grandchildren of someone like Andrew Carnegie or Henry Ford who inherited great wealth and have only known life with luxury)

  4. Aaron,

    You have a beautiful family, blessed soul, and are such a talented writer. I love that you and I share the same work ethic, although from different perspectives. As I strive daily to live up to that Proverbs 31 wife (and fail more than I succeed), I too want to ‘just do it all on my own’. I don’t want anything handed to me and I want to know that if I succeed at something, it was G-d and me and if I fail at something, it was just ME.


    1. Samantha, thanks for the compliments. Coming from a great writer like yourself, that is quite the honor! Thanks!

      I struggle with playing God sometimes and forget that I am not in control sometimes… I need to remember my own advice. :-)

      Thanks for the comment.

      1. In the past, before I realized what it truly meant to call myself Christian (2009), I always thought my plans were better than His. I didn’t even really give a thought to His plans for me. His plans required that I surrender — that I let go — that I listen to that small still voice. It felt like prison to me. Now I am freer than I have ever been in my life. My husband and I often laugh about how we are tempted to ask for His guidance about what new bed linens to choose at the department store. LOL! I don’t want to make any of my own plans — only plans guided by the perfect will that freed me from the walking dead.

  5. Justin, when I was growing up, I had to work for everything. At 13 I babysat to pay for my clothes and spending money. Today, kids feel as though they are “entitled” to live the good life without working a day for it.
    Our dinners were at home with a rare treat of a hamburger once a month or so. Now, a third of kids are overweight, with many being unhealthy and unappreciative of all that they have!

  6. This post summarizes what I believe in. I believe in teaching how to slice that bread instead of slicing it for someone….Aaron you earned a lot more respect today from me my friend :-)

    1. Baran, given what I’ve seen from you, I am not surprised that you like to earn your accomplishments also. Thanks for the additional respect.

      I hope to keep earning it.


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