Sometimes I feel like all throughout my life I was lead by the media to believe I was going to be entitled.
When I was a little boy I used to watch Scrooge McDuck swim through his giant money bin full of cash.
When I was teenager I watched MTV’s The Real World and couldn’t wait to live in giant apartment with no job for 2-3 months.
When I was an adult house hunting shows made me think that living in a beautiful, luxurious $300K home was completely normal.
With messages like that, how is someone supposed to stay humble? By getting back to their roots every now and again. By serving those who need served.
Helping My Dad with Building His Deck:
The summer is not just a great time to be outside, but also a good time to get some work done. Recently my Dad called me up to give him a hand on the weekend with re-building his deck. One of my first jobs was to tear apart the old stairs and dig out some of the ground for the new stairs.
Here I am: A working professional, MBA, semi-wealthy grown man spending his weekend digging a big hole in the ground.
And you know what? THAT’S FINE!
I’m Still Just a Ditch-Digger:
That’s fine because no matter what happens to me in life, I’m still just a ditch-digger. (BTW – The term ditch-digger is something one of my colleagues at work always says and it has stuck with me over the years. Every time we evaluate our subordinates skills and find ones that are low, he always says “well, the world needs ditch-diggers too”)
I’m a ditch-digger in the sense that no matter who I am or how great I think I am, no one really cares. We’re all just really little fish in a big pond.
I’m a ditch-digger because I want to stay humble. I’m never going to be too good to help out my old’ Dad or do manual labor myself. And I hope that by doing it shows my own children that they will one day never be too good to help out me or their Mom.
In my career I’m a ditch-digger. Everyone has a boss, and what that boss wants that boss gets. You keep your job based on what you’re able to accomplish, not by what you know or how much you can do. However, NEVER confuse that statement to mean you should ever settle. If you feel like you’ve received a bad deal at work or could do much better someplace else, then go for it! I can be just as humble and productive working at Company B for twice as much as Company A. Never let anyone compromise your goals in life.
As a wanna-be entrepreneur and blogger I’m definitely a ditch-digger. It’s taken me three years to figure out all the details of how to consistently make an income of over a thousand dollars every month from my blogging. But I’ve done it and plan to keep on getting my hands dirty in the blogging-dirt until I figure out how to take it to five-figures every month.
Entitlement is a killer. It’s one of the single biggest problems I see with people both old and young every day. Everyone is too good for everything. There’s no point for them in staying humble. They’re too good to do the job the boss assigned to them. They’re too good to take an active interest in their family. They’re too good to grab a shovel and dig a hole in the yard.
That kind of attitude is harmful. It sabotages everything you work for. You think that everyone else should do your work because you don’t want to. You think you should be rich because you want to be. You think that you should have enough money to retire because you deserve it.
But why? What did you do exactly to deserve all those things? What makes you so special?
There is no one and nothing out there waiting to take care of you. There is no master plan or safety net that will catch you when you fall. Sometimes you just have to grab a shovel and dig your own hole in the ground. Sometimes you have to do it not just for yourself but for those you love.
Become who it is you want to be. Stay humble and take control of the reins. Sometimes you just have to depend on yourself to move mountains if you want something done. Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands, put the plan together yourself, and make it happen if you truly want it to. No one else is going to be digging your ditch for you.
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