Entitlement: Generational or Societal Problem?

July 13, 2015 Sandra Dawes

We hear so much about Millennials and how entitled this generation is. I’ll admit I’ve had moments where I’ve Quotation-Steve-Maraboli-gratitude-life-love-service-relationship-giving-expectation-Meetville-Quotes-172463believed this to be an issue with “kids these days”. As I give it more thought however, I realized that this is an issue that began long before this generation was probably even born!

I remember my first job out of university. I had been there for 2 months (maybe 3) when my boss quit. She was the head of her department and it wasn’t long before her replacement was hired. As a cocky, recent graduate who thought she knew it all, I was incensed that I wasn’t even considered for the job. I actually walked in to the General Manager’s office demanding to know why I wasn’t considered for the job. That was almost 20 years ago, so I can assure you I am not a millennial! 😉

Here’s the thing about entitlement. We all are guilty of it to some degree or another. If younger generations are feeling entitled, I think we all have to take some responsibility for creating the monster in the first place! We’re told by the media that we deserve the best. Thanks to the internet and Netflix, we’ve become addicted to instant gratification. We want the best and we want it now and I don’t think that’s an age thing.

I’ve met some who believe in the law of attraction and talk about putting their dreams and desire “out into the universe” and then they are disappointed when things don’t work out the way they want. The thing that those who think this way are forgetting is that you can put it out there, but you still have to do the work. I know from personal experience that when you take action, things start to come together to make your goals a reality. Affirmations and meditation are not enough!

Do we all deserve the best that life has to offer? Absolutely! Are things always going to work out when and how we want to? Absolutely not! Yes, entitlement is an issue, but I don’t think it’s a generational one. With technology and the fast pace of life, many of us are being misled into thinking that everything is keeping up this crazy pace. This isn’t the case. I don’t even think entitlement is the real issue, I think is the partner-in-crime expectation that is the danger.

How many of us make sure to use our sick days, not because we’re sick, but because we believe we “deserve” it. Or maybe it was a change in the company’s summer hours that pushed you over the deep end? There are so many things that start off as perks and/or privileges soon become perceived rights. Again this is nothing new, and definitely not generational. I saw it whether I was working as a student in a union shop or full-time in a corporate setting.

Entitlement and expectation are a powerful combination that can lead to monumental disappointment and frustration.  There’s a lot in life that happens in the blink of an eye. We can watch an entire television series in a day if you want to. You can order things online and pay the extra for next day delivery.  Here’s the thing though – when it comes to our goals, those big hairy audacious goals that mean the world to us? They take time. There is no same day delivery, digital download or app that’s going to make the pursuit of our goals an easy ride. Once we realize that, we can all achieve the things we want to with laser like focus instead of waiting for it to happen. ♥

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