Entitlement vs. Fulfillment

Stephen Van Basten


As human beings, we all seem to have entitlement issues. We believe we are entitled to married parents. To an easy life. To having both parents present in our lives. To a job, a house, annual increases and regular promotions at work. We believe we are entitled to a loving, caring spouse and a marriage that somehow just works without any effort.

We think everyone must like us, that people will behave like we do. That other cultures must fit into our societal paradigm. We believe that no one SHOULD ever lie to us, steal from us or embezzle our pensions.  We believe we have a right to loyalty, honesty, and fidelity from our friends, family, and spouses. We believe that we are entitled to our God-given three score and 10 years (70). That no-one should ever bury a child. We believe that our lives should just flow and the universe must just provide.

So how’s that working for you?

We are entitled to a full life. A life full of happiness and despair. Filled with ecstasy and depression. Good times and bad. Fulfilled and unfulfilled. The truth is that as humans we are entitled to the full ambit of life experiences. Gut wrenching grief and moments our hearts could burst with joy. The truth is that some people will love you and others will hate you. That you will love some and hate others. The truth is that most of your achievements will come from actions that you have initiated and acted upon. The truth is that most of your failures will come from actions that you have initiated and acted upon too.

You are entitled to feedback. Negative feedback tells you that you are out of sync with authenticity. Positive feedback tells you that you are in sync with authenticity. Your mastery will come from constant tweaking, constant trial-and-error. Doing more of what works and less of what does not.

You are entitled to balance. When you are egotistical the universe will pull you down. When you are down-in-the-dumps, it will conspire to lift you up. You will be arrogant and humble and then grateful when this occurs.

When you start following your internal compass and tweak accordingly, constantly improving, you start to live in a state of grace. A state of fulfillment.

When you are doing more of what you love and less of what you hate, you build your self-confidence and positive self-image. You create health, wealth, and fulfillment.

When you are doing more of what you hate and less of what you love, you kill your self-confidence and create a negative self-image. If you do enough of this you will probably get ill and shorten your lifespan (and hate life while you wait to die).

Fulfillment is a chemically induced state. It is the result of an internal chemical reaction. It is created when you live a life filled with the things you truly love and appreciate. When you sub-contract the things you really dislike doing to someone who actually loves doing them.

Most importantly, it is a state achieved by yourself for yourself. It’s not your parent’s duty. It’s not your government’s duty. It’s not your Boss’s duty. Nobody wakes up every morning to fulfil your needs. Only you can create that.


downloadAuthor, public speaker, trainer and coach, Stephen van Basten, is a past Karate World Champion, a yoga enthusiast, and recovering golfer. Stephen has owned his own company, worked in his family’s business, being employed by small and large businesses like Shell SA and the BTG Group.

This article is excerpted from a post on Stephen’s blog. Follow @stephenvb on Twitter and find his Author Page on Facebook. Lastly, click here for a free download of his most recent title, So you’re engaged, now what?