What do you deserve? Print
News - Final Word
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 08:39
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You very seldom get what you deserve in life. Instead, you get what you think you deserve. The problem is that these beliefs about how deserving you might be are not conscious, so you often have no idea why you do certain things.

It’s not as if you wake up one morning and say to yourself: “I think I’ll ruin my relationship today. Hey, wait, I already did that last week. Today I’ll sabotage my finances.”

Dan Millman says that you limit or sabotage your efforts and undermine your relationships, finances or health to the degree you doubt your worthiness.

Dan, a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor and college professor, is the author of 13 books, including ‘Way of the peaceful warrior’. The 2006 feature film, ‘Peaceful warrior’, starring Nick Nolte, was adapted from this book.

In his course, ‘Master the path of the peaceful warrior’, Dan says that our sense of self-worth determines the abundance and joy we allow into our life.

According to Dan, you have to bear in mind that you have been subconsciously rating yourself since childhood. Your sense of self-worth comes from many influences, beginning in your early years.

Dan uses the example of abuse. If you were abused as a child, the abuser was responsible; not you. If you are abused as an adult, the abuse itself is not your responsibility, but the choice to stay with that person is yours.

Right off the bat Dan makes it clear that sometimes bad things just happen. You didn’t cause them. To say that someone who is run over by a drunk driver drew the experience to him or herself due to low self-worth is absurd.

However, when we make choices that lead to difficulties, it is worth understanding where they come from. And no, it has nothing to do with blame, but with acknowledging your role or responsibility.

Our lives are mostly shaped by the choices we make, and the actions we take. Dan says that if life isn’t going all that well, you should ask yourself this question: “Who’s doing this to me?”

If the answer is “someone else” – say your boss or spouse appears to be the cause of your suffering – then ask yourself: “Who chose to be around this person? Who chose this job?”

You can only change your life once you stop blaming someone else for your problems. This doesn’t mean that you have to start blaming yourself instead. Dan says that taking responsibility has nothing to do with blame or finding fault. Rather, taking responsibility is taking control, because you finally start realising the degree to which your difficulties are self-generated.

When looking back on your life, have you wondered, why on earth did I say that? Why did I do that? At some or other time in the past, most of us have been our own worst enemy. Can you think of a choice you have made that you now see as a subconscious act of self-sabotage?

When you understand that many of your choices have had to do with self-worth issues, you can finally get out of your own way, and start making more empowering choices.

Dan makes it clear that coming to appreciate your innate worth has nothing to do with putting yourself above others. It rather involves a basic recognition of the fact that you have made the best choices with what you could see at a given point in your life.

You know what, girlfriend? When it comes to making choices I sort of go the way of the Hippocratic Oath: First do no harm. It probably has to do with kindness, which is way underrated in our culture.

Come to think of it, when I was 24 years old someone, whose opinion I really valued, told me that I was actually a kind person. I was so surprised. I’d rather have aspired to being seen as what I thought then were wow qualities – being intelligent, creative, original, determined, having a sense of humour or being a go-getter.

Only now do I realise that I never said thanks to what was probably the biggest compliment anyone ever gave me.

Dan says that if you have debts to pay, “then pay them forward in the currency of kindness to others – not by punishing yourself. Not ever again. It is not necessary. It never has been.”