“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain
The other day, I got a question from one of my students – “Sir, I hate studies. What can I do about it?”
Well, you need to understand that the question is not as simple as it appears because it has something more profound to it.
You see, one studies to get skilled so that he can get his dream job. And you know you can become skilled only by studying.
But, when you don’t want to study, it shows you’re taking things for granted – your parents, college, the books, your classroom, teachers, your fellow students – almost everything.
You feel you should have good friends, supportive teachers, excellent facilities in college, a beautiful girlfriend, and everything else that you might desire. But the truth is – you don’t always get what you wish instead you most often get what you deserve.
The World Owes You Nothing
I know it hurts because you thought that I am here and the world should have everything for me – whenever I want. But let me tell the truth: You must stop taking things for granted. Of course, you can get all the things you want in life if only you worked hard from them, but that doesn’t mean you were entitled. You got them – Great! Now be grateful.
Yes, you could afford quality education, but that doesn’t mean it’s the norm because it’s not. Not every young person can afford the training or the college he wishes. I couldn’t complete my post-graduation because I didn’t have money for the fees. Yes, that’s correct. So stop taking your life for granted. You’re fortunate to have what you have.
Can you imagine there are millions of children who don’t even get proper food? They neither have a home nor do they have decent clothes or access to a school.
Many orphans in the world have never seen faces of their parents, not even once – think about them for a moment. Feel their pain, their agony, their helplessness, and realise how blessed you are.
The Entitlement Mentality
You feel (like most of us) that this world owes you a good life. That you’re entitled to a well-paying job, a good home, a fantastic family atmosphere, a loving spouse and so on.
You have been living in the illusion that since you are here, you must get everything you desire. Unfortunately, that’s not true.
The world owes you nothing. Whatever you need or want has to be earned, and for that to happen, you must have what it takes to win a particular lifestyle.
Can’t You Have What You Want?
I am not saying you can’t.
What I am saying is that you must be deserving, and it’s possible if a) You feel grateful for what you have and b) You keep learning newer things to master your craft.
If you can’t value and be grateful for what you currently have, what’s the guarantee you will appreciate the things you desire?
Be Grateful for What You Have
Here’s a simple exercise to help you feel grateful for your blessings:
Take a paper and a pen. Sit in a place where you will not be disturbed for about 20 minutes, and make yourself comfortable. Take some deep breaths and start unwinding.
Close your eyes and relax. Now, in your mind, start taking an inventory of your blessings.
Be it your college, your favourite course, good fellow students, fantastic teachers, impressive facilities – whatever it is, feel it and stay with that feeling. Now, open your eyes and note down all the things on paper. You may write like this – blessing no1, no2, no3……..and so on.
Some unpleasant emotions might come up during the process – anger, frustration, despair, or uneasiness. Let them surface. Acknowledge them, and they’ll get released.
It might be difficult to do this in the beginning because we’ve been conditioned to focus on the things we don’t have. Generally, our focus remains on the tasks we need to accomplish – things that are ‘missing’. But you can get into the ‘being grateful’ zone only if you tried a little longer. Be mindful to list even the smallest things you can be grateful for and when the list is ready, have a good look at it. Focus on blessing number one, close your eyes and feel thankful for it. Keep doing so until you reach the end.
This Gratefulness exercise can change your mindset. It can uplift your spirits and make you feel happy about yourself and life.
But Wouldn’t Gratitude Halt My Progress?
No, it won’t. Being grateful means you are acknowledging your blessings, and it doesn’t mean that you will not strive to move ahead in life. You will still move forward but with a more profound sense of purpose.
Gratitude helps you get rooted. Now, you will have your roots deep in the earth and your wings high in the sky.
Be grateful and keep polishing your skills.