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A New Recipe for Life: Earn Your Cake and Then Eat It

Updated on June 20, 2013

Your Current Recipe for Life

Each new year, millions make resolutions to eat better, exercise, lost weight, get a better job, make more money, or improve their relationships. Within weeks, 94% not only have failed, but add a another year of guilt and self-disappointment into their mental state. With each passing year, the feeling of failure looming overhead adds more and more weight to the shoulders of what was once a young person full of life, energy, and ideas.

What happened to that young person?

can't have cake and eat it too
can't have cake and eat it too

What happened to that young person?

It happened one day, most likely without even being aware of the change. They heard a false message, and instead of saying, "that doesn't make sense," they chose to believe it as truth. They may have heard it from someone they respected, a family member, a friend, a self-improvement "guru," or even their religion. The fallacious message that became ingrained as a fundamental truth was this: you can have your cake and eat it too.

In other words, it claims you can have your cake before you make it, which is also known today as the sense of Entitlement. This idea of deserving the undeserved is preached aloud and demonstrated to fertile young minds from many angles. The United States government and it's current emphasis on social programs and reform are undermining the hopes of those best able to change the country. A child born to parents who receive government or state assistance such as Food Stamps or welfare see it first hand. The unemployed claim their benefits, and the disabled theirs. The money comes from their taxes, they say. If we were to evaluate the amount of taxes they had paid up until they received benefits, would it cover the amount of their benefits?


Dump the allowance-and use a new "Family Economy" to raise responsible children in an age of instant gratification.

"Number-one New York Times bestselling authors Richard and Linda Eyre, have spent the last twenty-five years helping parents nurture strong, healthy families. Now they've synthesized their vast experience in an essential blueprint to instilling children with a sense of ownership, responsibility, and self-sufficiency. At the heart of their plan is the "Family Economy" complete with a family bank, checkbooks for kids, and a system of initiative-building responsibilities that teaches kids to earn money for the things they want. The motivation carries over to ownership of their own decisions, values, and goals. Anecdotal, time-tested, and gently humorous, The Entitlement Trap challenges some of the sacred cows of parenting and replaces them with values that will save kids (and their parents) from a lifetime of dependence and disabling debt."

Customer Review:

"Having been brought up in a democrat family and having lived in a relatively poor community, I found the thoughts of the late Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged pretty repulsive.

I used to think that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I also used to think that something was evil about Capitalism. I used to believe that money was the root of all evil and other such nonsense.

Atlas Shrugged is an excellent book for those who like me, were willing to be corrected and realize that money is not the root of all evil. It's the lack of money that is the root of all evil. Then you have to go out and steal it and end up in jail.

The rich get richer because they have a different plan. They think differently and act differently. The poor are poor and stay poor because they think poor.

I have met many successful people over the years and many if not most indicate that they have read Atlas Shrugged and highly recommend it. So do I."


Government Handouts vs. Responsibility

These hand-out programs, instead of motivating and recognizing potential and ability, look for the lowliest in man. As a prerequisite for many of the programs, one must prove how little they actually have, or earn, or can do. They must prove that they are less than they could be. What does this do the human psyche and human potential? When told they must supply proof for why they are entitled to something, it brings them to a critical realization. It is the moment of choice that can change their life. One can say, "yes, I lost my job and didn't have any savings to cover me until I found another job. That was my choice, and now I will get a job, even if it is as a housekeeper or a garbage collector, to pay my bills and create a savings account so I won't let this happen again." Or, one can say, tragically, "yes, I lost my job and didn't have any savings to cover me until I found another job. I want my former employer pay me anyway because that what I pay taxes for. I deserve it!"

That is the moment when Entitlement with either take hold of one's future or free them from the bonds of it's grasp.

Up until that decision is made, one's life could take two dramatically different directions. Once the decision is made, the sentence or the freedom have already begun. If one negates their responsibility in life and decides to accept something for nothing, they are sentenced to a life of guilt, low or no self-esteem, and likely to continue in a the vicious cycle of take, take, take. By instead accepting responsibility for one's life, he experiences increased self-esteem, even while flipping burgers to pay the bills. With that knowledge held within him, he will soon be beyond flipping burgers and on to new and better ways to mutually exchange his talent for the talent of others.

new year game
new year game

The Entitlement Game

Besides being a disease of the mind, entitlement is also a disease to the body. The fact that most new year resolutions involve losing weight, exercising, and eating better is not a coincidence. While consciously you may know that it is good to exercise and eat healthy, the unconscious belief of entitlement often creeps in when you are most vulnerable. It says, "I shouldn't have to give up my ice cream or my fast food. I deserve to eat whatever I want. No one can tell me that I have to exercise!" So, two weeks after making your resolution, you find yourself with your head in the refrigerator looking for a midnight snack and end up eating a half gallon of ice cream.

Entitlement loves to play the shame-blame game. Shame, on yourself for not doing what you said you were going to do, and blame, for everyone else except yourself.

Entitlement as your recipe for life is unsustainable; it will not allow you to have your cake and eat it too.

To change your present and future,you must now createa new recipe for life:I will earn my cake and then eat it.

same thinking same results
same thinking same results

Breaking Free

How one stops the toxic game of entitlement is to decide consciously that you will take responsibility for your actions. If you receive negative feedback from the world, such as losing a job, or from your body, such as having high cholesterol, you accept your role in the reality of the situation. You made your cake. Eat your cake, experience the indigestion you get from it, and then decide to implement your new life recipe.

If you have high cholesterol, research why one gets high cholesterol, and stop any and all related bad habits, replacing them with educated, helpful, new habits. If you lose your job, find out why, consider your options where you are, and move forward vowing not to repeat the cycle again.

There are many benefits that come with choosing responsibility over entitlement. First, you get to start over. Freeing yourself from guilt by accepting that you made a mistake liberates your mind. You can then start to dream again, thinking of what it is that you want to experience in life. Start taking small steps on a daily basis with small experiences until they build up to the one you truly desire.

For example, one can rarely run a marathon tomorrow without any training. But today you can walk for 20 minutes, and eventually run 5 miles. With more training, the once overwhelming idea of running a marathon comes within reach.

To those of you who are unemployed or working in a job you don't particularly like: remember the baby steps. Do something today to start your accumulation of experiences that will drive you towards the job of your dreams or towards your own business.

Resources for New Thinkers

Living By Example

We obtain satisfaction in life from experiencing that which we love through our senses. As much as we try, we can't obtain experience from others; it comes from within ourselves and is as unique as a snowflake. We all have something of value to share with the world that we desire to express in reality. It may take time to find the right person who sees it, but know that that person exists. Don't sell yourself short by selling your experience for less than it's worth. What you produce with your abilities is directly linked to your self-esteem. By living a responsible life, you develop integrity naturally, from which flows the knowledge that you are capable, worthwhile, and good. Only give yourself to those who recognize your value. Agree to exchange only with others who give you something you value in return--if not money, than food, or supplies, or friendship.

The ultimate benefit of the new recipe for life is that you can then share your cake with others. When you become abundant from the harvest of the seeds you sowed, you can then share it with those who provide value to your life. Instead of giving money to beggars in exchange for nothing and reinforcing their current state, you can create a scholarship to help a young person study something you both find worthwhile. The difficulty comes in finding the people worth helping, who do not seek assistance through entitlement, but rather through dedication to an idea, an ideal, and a productive future. Share your new recipe for life with those who are full of life, energy, and ideas, and your values will be carried on in their minds and through their productive life achievements.

Do You Think Entitlement Contributes to the U.S. Economic Crisis?

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