“Congratulations! You deserve it!”
How many times have you heard someone say this. Their intentions mean well, but there is a problem.
There are two ways of approaching life. One, as if everything is given (a gift, although that word is not appropriate in all situations), and two, as if everything is quid pro quo.
If everything is given, then we recognize that we don’t have control over things. We have work that we are tasked with for sure, but the outcomes are not in our control.
If everything is a quid pro quo, then we are in control of the outcomes of our life. We know that if we do a certain thing, we shall have a particular outcome. While causality is real, we also have an intuitive recognition that there are things outside of our control.
The framework of the gift generates thinking of gratitude, with humility and a spirit of generosity. The quid pro quo framework generates thinking of deserving which brings along expectation, manipulation, and mandate of being repaid for work done.
Where would we rather be?