Counting Chickens Print E-mail
( 1 Vote )
Written by By Jamil Matar   
Friday, 19 July 2019 00:00

This essay is not intended in any shape or form to attack anybody’s political persuasion or deride the romantic expectations of a few PUP fanatics. If you will bear with me I will attempt in candid manner to introduce a little levelheadedness in a climate where opinions and expectations are running high in light of the current tally of village council elections results. A high-profile PUP surrogate recently used so many clichéd adjectival phrases in one of his essays leaving me baffled as to how he managed to get around his original intention to use his favorite quote from 1998 “Lame Duck Government” in reference to the incumbent UDP Administration at that time. What I will do, then, is to simply go through the motions in analyzing the present political landscape, endeavoring not to fritter away your time.

To start with, I will openly admit that with the exception of Corozal, Belize Rural, and Cayo, the recent returns of the village council elections have given reason for PUP supporters to swagger, and for UDP supporters to feel disheartened. These days, in like manner whereby the PUP’s Central Committee has appointed a “Shadow Government”; designating certain PUP Standard Bearers to Cabinet positions if elected, there are some known PUP supporters going around nominating themselves as Minister’s drivers, Works supervisors, and Security Officers at the hospitals! Some are much more ambitious in assigning themselves positions in the Customs and Immigration Departments. They are already celebrating or should I say salivating? In my ensuing paragraphs I sincerely do not want to come across as being flippant or defensive.

Do you guys recall all the hype surrounding the 2016 US Presidential election? All the polls and all the pundits were ready to garland Mrs. Clinton on November 8 that same year, and then, “pop goes the weasel!” Despite losing the popular vote, Mr. Trump assumed the presidency in January 2017. And I have heard many concurring opinions from several visitors that he will again bag the Electoral College in 2020, for a second term. So hear what, to those of you who are counting your chickens here in Belize and drooling at the thought of fast money, allow me to share another cliché with you; “it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings”, which in colloquial terms means, there are more developments yet to come; one should not presume to know the outcome of an event which is still in progress, to wit, 16 months is an eternity in politics. In truth, many sober Belizeans are terrified to even contemplate another PUP Government, judging from the latter’s previous performance, since voters genuinely believe that the PUP did serious harm to our country. But we can understand that people may want to believe that the grass is greener on the other side. Remember, we have chomped on that grass before and it left a bitter taste in our mouth. It is synthetic grass, my friends; it is not real! So let’s exercise cautiousness in 2020.

I am entitled to a Job, Free Housing and Healthcare And other crippling feelings of entitlement Print E-mail
( 0 Votes )
Written by By Thamar Jones   
Friday, 19 July 2019 00:00

Millennials get a bad rap for our perceived sense of entitlement but this problem transcends generations.  Rich people think they deserve special treatment because they’re rich. Poor people think they deserve a handout because they’re poor. Middle-class people think they deserve to move up because they’ve done x, y, or z.

The truth is, you’re entitled to very few things in life. Free speech and the right to a fair trial are two examples if you live in the free world. But when it comes to a high-paying job, a nice house, healthcare or education, you’ve got to work for it.

Entitled people feel like they deserve something regardless of how much work or effort they’ve put in and an entitled mindset will quickly sabotage your fulfillment and limit your success.

Let’s look at a few common statements that will keep entitled people poor.

“I’ve done this (fill in the blank mediocre task), so I deserve that.”

This is the most common entitled belief people hold. They believe that because they’ve accomplished something (be it big or small), they somehow deserve something else in return. What compounds the problem is that the majority of people feel entitled to something significant after accomplishing mediocre- “I pay taxes, so I deserve free housing, free education and a well-paying job.

The issue I want to address is why this type of thinking will keep you poor.

First and foremost, an entitled mindset doesn’t give you the motivation to make forward progress. When you submit to an entitled mindset, you’re going to be disappointed when you don’t receive your unjustified reward. And this disappointment will ultimately prevent you from putting in the work in future. Why would you put in the work? You already feel like you’ve done the most and didn’t receive the appropriate return.

If you want to be successful, you need to stop expecting something for nothing. Instead, you need to focus your energy on making forward progress every day. Entitlement will only cripple your efforts.

Another crippling mindset is: My Parents Live This Way, So I Should Too

A lot of people think this, especially twenty-somethings. Many of us grew up in good homes, with nice cars, and regular vacations. We’re used to buying what we want at the grocery store and not thinking about how much going out to eat really costs. Then we begin living on our own and start paying for stuff on our own. All of a sudden we realize how expensive the life that we grew up living really is.

I say “we” because I’m a twenty-something too. I’m speaking to myself here as much as I am to you. It’s easy to get used to living a certain way and it’s very hard to change that when you’re finally out on your own. But, like number 1, this belief will also keep you poor if you don’t get rid of it.

The fact is, your parents didn’t get the life they have now easily. They didn’t always have good cars and nice vacations. My parents talk about how in their first few years of marriage they didn’t have hardly any money and lived in a much smaller house. It took a while before they were able to do what they can now. But many young people either forget this, or they haven’t ever thought about it, to begin with. If this is you, I encourage you to talk to your parents about what their life was like when they were in their twenties. I bet it looked very different than it does now.

If you want to be wealthy, you’ve got to get rid of this notion that you should be able to afford everything that your parents can. I know, I know, consciously you know this. But subconsciously we think we should be able to afford that life. So what do you do when you think you deserve it? You put it on credit. You buy cars you can’t really afford. And you don’t save because there’s no room left in the budget for saving after you get all of the stuff you “deserve”.

If you want to be well off financially, you’ve got to tough it out for a little while and save some money. You’re going to have to give up some of the luxuries you had at home, and you’ve got to start making your own way. Don’t compare your life to your parents. You’re in a totally different spot and you need to focus on doing the best you can where you’re currently at.

“I’ve Worked Hard, I Should Get This”

This one is tough. Because there is some truth to it. If you work hard, you should get a fair wage. I wholeheartedly believe that. But the difficult part comes in 2 ways. Everyone’s definition of “hard work” and “fair wage” is different. Oftentimes hard work doesn’t pay off immediately.

If you feel like you’re working your tail off and not seeing any reward, you probably need to first really examine yourself to see if you’re actually working all that hard. Then get some people you know and trust and ask them what they think of your work ethic. If you still feel like that’s not the problem, it’s probably time to ask your boss (or whatever you’re working hard towards) about what they think constitutes “good work”.

Unfortunately, everyone’s definition of hard work is different, but a good place to start would be to look at someone who has what you want. Find someone who has already achieved what you’re working towards. Then try and compare how hard you’re working to how hard they work. If you’re woefully behind, it’s probably time to kick it into gear. If you’re working hard but just feel like you’re not reaping any reward, you might just need to hang in there and stick it out a little longer. Your reward might be just around the corner.

If you take anything from this article, understand that you’re not entitled to success or wealth, and if you don’t achieve what you want, it’s no-one’s fault but your own. Every generation is a product of the generation before them, but that doesn’t give you an excuse. You can’t blame them for not achieving what you want. By thinking you deserve something or that it’s someone else’s fault, you’re just limiting your own possibilities. You’ve got to realize that you’re the only one who can do something about your situation. No one is going to give something to you or make it better. But if you think they will, you’ll never work. And if you never work, you’ll never achieve. You will stay poor. Poor in money, poor in health, and poor in relationships. Whatever area you feel entitled to, you’ll stay poor.

You’ve got to go out there and work for it. You have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone else on the planet has. And lots of people break world records, create million dollar companies, travel the world, spend time with their family, and lose weight. You’ve got the exact same amount of time they do. So don’t blame anyone else for not getting what you want.

If you want something, chase it and work hard for it. But don’t think you’re entitled to success.