Yesterday I wrote down on my facebook group: “Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills.” (Jim Rohn) Today I let you read this following post about the Inside-Out Wealth training in Italy...
“I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either.” (Jack Benny)
During the Inside-Out Wealth training in Italy last week, someone asked me a question about the idea of ‘deserving’ wealth.
“How did you get to the place where you felt you deserved to charge what you are now charging? What did you do to feel that you deserved the wealth that you have created?”
Now I have to admit that at that moment, I was taken aback. I really did not know what to say or how to answer that question. So in attempting to answer it, I focused on the relativity of ‘deserving.’
“I find it an interesting question given that you’ve asked about ‘deserving’ wealth. That’s because, after all, deserving is relative. A few years ago I read that Donald Trump charges $250,000 for a speech. And after listening to a couple of his speeches, which were good, but not fantastic or exceptionally inspiring, I knew that I could deliver one as good, if not better (e.g., more practical information, more inspiration, more next steps for self-actualizing one’s wealth potentials). So do I deserve $250,000 per hour in presentations or trainings?”
Then, as a joke and to inject some humor, I turned to Nicola Riva, who was translating my words into Italian, and who had organized the training as part of his and Lucia’s Neuro-Semantic Trainings there. I turned to him and suggested that he think in terms of $250,000 per hour regarding my fees!
Yet in that response I knew that my answer was still not sufficient. I knew that there were aspects, implications, and frames about the question and about the word ‘deserve’ that still needed to be addressed. So later I spent some “jet lagging” time just thinking about that question. Then after landing in Chicago at O’Hare airport and waiting for my next flight, I began putting together an answer— one that I’ll use from now on. So here is what I’ll say next time I’m asked about that:
“Actually, I don’t deserve it. There’s nothing in my life, skills, or knowledge that demands that I can now require a certain amount of money from anyone. Whatever I get— whatever the market bears is a fortunate opportunity for which I’m very grateful. That’s because it’s not about deserving, it’s about the exchange of goals and values—and experiencing that exchange with gratitude from a non-demanding perspective. So while I don’t deserve it, I do appreciate several facts:
1) I live in a cultural context where there’s a market for my knowledge and skills— in psychology, leadership, coaching, real estate, etc.
2) I’m grateful that what I’ve learned, the competencies that I have developed, the products and services that I have created, the experiences that I can now facilitate for people that can call forth the financial value in the cultures in which I live. If I lived in some other contexts and cultures, there wouldn’t be the demand, need, or the desire.
3) So I am fortune to live at this time, to have found the markets that I have, and over the years to have created the credibility to win the trust of so many.”
The Neuro-Semantics about “Deserve”
All of this raises questions about “deserve.” “Deserve” is defined as “to be worthy, suitable for some reward.” And if I am worthy of some reward, if I “merit” it, then I can require it. I can demand it. I can expect it and assume it. And all of this creates a very unuseful spirit in anyone who takes it on— a sense of entitlement.
Yet when it comes to social rewards (e.g., money, recognition, success, etc.), these occur within a systemic context involving numerous factors. So what determines whether I get rewarded in a certain way is more than the mere fact of my knowledge and skill. There are many other variables. Is there a need for my knowledge and skills? Is there a desire? Are there many others who are also supplying the same? How much supply is there? Have I effectively packaged my products and services so that people can easily see and recognize the benefits?
The problem with “deserve” is that it implies demand and entitlement, yet there is no basis for being able to demand, expect, or require that others value the value that I offer at a certain amount or rate. In fact, if I operate from a sense of entitlement and demand what I think I’m worth, I’ll probably undermine what I am offering and making it less attractive. Money, after all, is also a shared social reality that depends on a great many variables— variables influenced by governments, banks, stock markets, supply and demand, information, etc.
“Deserve” also implies that I have it within my power to force or impose my offering on others. But in fact I don’t have that power. No one does. Whatever monies I can call forth is a matter of negotiation with clients and customers within the context of exchange.
“Deserve” also implies that the amount of money, success, recognition, etc. (social rewards) I receive for my services is connected with my sense of self, maybe even with my personal value. If I received less than I think that “I deserve” and am entitled to, I should feel bad, feel dis-valued. Talk about a belief/understanding frame that sets a person up and semantically loads these things!
So “deserve” carries lots of implies frames that, as I think about it, strikes me as increasingly unuseful, even toxic. So the next time I’m asking about “deserving” wealth or success or anything else, I have my answer prepared—
“I don’t deserve it. What I receive is a gift— a gift within a system of exchange that I appreciate and am grateful for. I don’t deserve it just as no one deserves it. If I receive success in recognition or in finances— it is a privilege, an honor, and a responsibility in a market that I happen to have entered.”
L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
Everyone as best as he can...
Everyone as best as he can...