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