We don’t get what we deserve. We get what we believe we deserve. Don Cooper
I’ve always been struck by the phrase that is encapsulated in today’s title. We often hear it used in a negative way, as “The bad guy got what he deserved.” as he was arrested, or caught, or done-in in some way. Similarly, the phrase is used as a sort of compliment or reward for accomplishment or success. It works in both directions.
But let’s examine the expression more deeply, perhaps through the eyes of our venerable “snowman.” The Snowman’s central premise remains the same; everything in our lives flows from our operative thoughts and ideas. So what are our ideas about what we deserve?
To fully grasp this question, let’s consider the term, “Homeostasis”. The best synonym for this term may be “balance.” For example, our body shivers when we are cold. The purpose of shivering? To increase blood flow with the goal of raising body temperature. In other words, shivering re-establishes a homeostatic condition within our body. On a psychological level, we seek to establish homeostasis in a relationship that has become imbalanced by offering an apology or with an assertive airing of a grievance with the goal of mending fences.
So, as we apply the principle of homeostasis to today’s newsletter title, what do we see? Essentially, we realize that we get what we deserve by recognizing our operative thoughts, as well as the resulting behaviors that proceed from those thoughts. So, for example, an individual suffering from some addiction doesn’t like that his dysfunctional behavior has cost him his job or marriage but realizes those outcomes were natural consequences of that behavior: those losses were also, sadly, deserved. Conversely, that same person, in the midst of recovery from his/her addiction, likely experiences improvement in both his personal and professional life. And, taking some justifiable pride in his new and healthy behaviors, feels that he deserves, has earned, his greater happiness and satisfaction.
The former NBA star and TV pundit, Charles Barkley, once challenged a fellow commentator who described a given team as being “much better than their record indicates.” Barkley retorted, “No, they are exactly a reflection of their record. Their mistakes, good plays, injuries, etc. all combine to generate the record they have now.”
So if our current life situation, both good and bad, is a reflection of our current homeostatic condition, what do we do to make things better? The Snowman tells us that all change (improvement) begins with a change in our thinking: our operative thoughts. Going back to my earlier example of the individual with an addiction, the recovery process began with the new idea, “I’m capable of overcoming my addiction.” That new thought must supplant former beliefs such as “I’m weak” or “I have toxic genes” or “I can handle my problem without needing to quit.”
Homework: Change your thinking to get what you deserve.
Retain your existing thoughts and beliefs and keep getting what
you currently deserve. CHOOSE!
The moment you start to wonder if you deserve better, you do!