The 365 Commitment

Day 58 – Yep, We Deserve it Alright

There is one habit that is tough to give up.  It’s the “I deserve to” habit.  I deserve to:  stay in bed, look at the “news” on my phone, eat that sugary snack/cookie/candy/cake, put of that onerous chore, the list goes on and on.  It’s a result of being steeped in notions of entitlement to leisure, being accustomed to instant gratification, and buying into values like “follow your bliss” or “momentary pleasure.”    Fair enough. Many people think this is an absolutely correct way to conduct oneself.  I’ve been a proponent.  Hakuna matada! Right?

But, the cold hard fact is that delayed gratification results in success, and instant gratification is simply not associated with success; rather it leads to unfortunate things like tooth decay, STDs, and financial debt among other things.  “Unfortunate” is the proper term – literally meaning lacking fortune. I deserve to (fill in the blank) is really just squandering potential and actual fortune.

I guess I sound like grumpy old man tonight because I’m really just annoyed with myself for buying into the “I deserve it mantra” too many times myself.  It’s a foolish trap. What I really deserve is to reap the benefits of commitment to good habits.  There are a couple simple habits whose incorporation has been hijacked by “I deserve it.”  For example, reading a page from “The Elements of Style” (by Strunk and White) every day and incorporating the English lesson into my writing.  Well, I’ve missed the mark on this one.  It’s been hit or miss and mostly miss.  But, think about it. It would only take me about 5 minutes a day max to stick with this habit.  But, the “I deserve to” voice calls me and I waste many times 5 minutes perusing YouTube videos, or other idle entertainments, and forego a good habit that I know would benefit me.

OK, I’m stopping right now (5 minute break).  OK, Strunk and White just taught me something valuable, and I have kept a good habit. Cool!   So, a singular verb follows a cliché made up of two nouns. Normally the verb would be plural, but a cliché is seen as a unit. “His bread and butter is writing poetry,” is correct. “His bread and butter are writing poetry,” is incorrect.

Alright!  We deserve to benefit from the good habits that we will ourselves to keep.  We also deserve what we get when we give in to instant gratification and idle pleasure, which is pretty much nothing at best, and tooth decay, STDs and “livin in a van down by the river” at worst!

Ben Wagner (64)

Member 365 Commitment

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Guy Reams
5 years ago

Totally true. I do this so often. The other one is – I will start tomorrow habit. Equally as bad.

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