Always Earned. Never Given.

This morning one of the most driven people I know texted me and said, “I need a pep talk.”  So I called her in the middle of my jog and she told me she was sitting in front of the gym but that all she wanted to do was drive down the street to the “Hot Now” sign.  And I told her to drive to the sign… after she earned the doughnut.  Then I told her a story that pertains to how all of ought to take gifts that we haven’t earned.

A group of employees was surveyed, asking what they would do if they got a 100,000 raise next year.  Many said things like “vacation,” “pay off debt,” or “buy a new car/home.”  Others said charitable things such as “Donate it to cancer research” or “Put it toward my kids’ college funds.”  But one answer in particular stood out: “I would earn it.”  The integrity behind that answer is so powerful.  While everyone else was thinking about what the money could do for them, this individual was thinking about what (s)he could do for the company that was providing an opportunity at a more stable life.

What if we all accepted “random” blessings with that attitude?  A couple years ago I was blessed with a few hundred dollars out of the blue.  I was responsible with it for the most part (paid bills) but I didn’t use it to help my growth.  Now I have a new outlook on all blessings and earning them is the only option.  People expect 6 pack ab muscles but want to drink 6 packs and not workout.  That’s not earning it.  We expect successful 6 figure salaries after working toward them for 12 months.  That’s not earning it.  We expect lifelong marriages but don’t want to push our partner to grow with us.  That’s not earning it.  And know for a fact that, if you don’t earn it and you don’t develop it, you will lose your blessing.  So next time you find a $20 on the ground or your boss gives you a 2% raise, let your actions say “I’m going to earn this.”

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