444 | Personal Responsibility In The Age of Entitlement Part 1

One of our themes for the month is Personal Responsibility in the age of entitlement.

Today we’re focusing on how entitlement can easily make us play the role of victims and refuse to accept responsibility for our lives and actions.

The person with a sense of entitlement believes: everything that happens should somehow benefit them. Anything unfavorable or unfortunate that happens in life is happening “to” them.

The person with a sense of responsibility believes: it’s their duty to deal with whatever comes up, to be accountable, and to accept all of the consequences of their own actions.

On today’s episode, we’re going to dive into a topic that I think is very important for the times that we’re living in. Especially, if you’re younger than 40 years old, this could be vital to you!


Speaker 2, Chris LoCurto

Chris LoCurto  00:00

How entitlement mentality leads to the victim mentality trap, that is coming up next.

Chris LoCurto  00:16

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Hey, folks, welcome to the show. Hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. Today, we're talking about-we're gonna dive into a topic that I think is incredibly important for the times that we are living in, especially if you're younger than 40 years old. Yes, this could be vital to you. Now, why under 40 you say? Well, millennials, also known as Generation Y, or Gen Y were born in the 1980s and 90s and had much different parenting and technology available than the previous generation, enter in entitlement mentality. Now, I'm gonna explain all this, if you're under 40 right now, and you're already offended, just stick with me, because I'm actually going to speak a decent amount on your side, right? The key is not to sit here and discuss something that is just, you know, terrible, you know, this entitlement mentality; "oh, gosh, everybody is horrible." Our goal is to discover why these exists, and what do we do about it. So I can tell you this right now, there's a whole lot of information. But just for a baseline definition; Psychology Today has a a definition for entitlement, which is ,"The belief that one deserves preferences and resources that others do not. Like boundaries, we recognize entitlement chiefly by its effect on us: envy, anger, and frustration." So when you look at entitlement, entitlement says, "You owe me, or somebody owes me, or the world owes me, or the universe as if it's its own entity, owes me." Right? We are talking about this month on personal responsibility. And what does personal responsibility say? Personal responsibility does not say, 'You owe me', personal responsibility says, 'I owe it to myself, to change things to fix things, to put myself in a right situation.' So for some context, if you're still not sure what I mean about entitlement, well, have you ever met somebody who was like, you know, they seem to act like the whole world owes them, or they're not satisfied unless their own needs are being met, or they would more readily say you owe them, then they owe, you know, you or anybody else, right? So when it comes to entitlement mentality, it is classic narcissistic behavior. But it's also characteristic of our modern times, none of us are immune from the entitlement virus. And this would be a good reminder for us all. So we're going to talk about why this is so common, how destructive this mindset can be, and what we can do about it when we come back after this.

Speaker 2  03:18

Freedom, it's so powerful.

Speaker 2  03:18

It's going to be worth it. It's going to be hard. But it's going to be even better on the other side.

Speaker 2  03:18

You know, I would go through Next Level Life again, and probably again, and probably again, because it's so powerful.

Speaker 2  03:20

I felt rejuvenated, almost renewed.

Speaker 2  03:22

I just felt so welcomed and loved and accepted for who I am, and not an ounce of judgment. So I was very comfortable there, that had a really big impact on me.

Speaker 2  03:40

For me, it was just very refreshing. And I want to say life giving, for me, it really was.

Chris LoCurto  03:46

I want you to ask yourself a question. Could you hear the sense of hope and freedom in their voices just then? I want you to know, that could be you. Look, it's easy to get trapped in old habits, negative thought patterns, and unhealthy relationships, it's gonna take some work, but yes, there is hope for you. If you want to experience the same kind of life transformation, the same kind of self-awareness and freedom that they have, or maybe you're just curious what the process would look like for you, then head on over to chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife.

Chris LoCurto  04:32

So how did we get here? How did we get to this place where we have such a large group of people, such a large group of the population that has a tendency to have a specific mindset? Well, it's kind of actually very interesting. And I want to point you back to a couple of earlier episodes that we did a while back that were just powerful. We got a lot of great comments on and that was would be 376, which is, Parenting in a Social Media Age, and 377, which is, Growing Up in a Social Media Age. So just some things for you to look back and gain some perspective on. So there's a really good reason why we see this, and I'm going to start with the parenting, I'm going to go through this whole process here of what's been happening, but there's a really good reason for the rise in the entitlement bug. And it's surface level symptom, which is, you know, victim mentality, it's a much easier path to walk down, right? Very little action needs to be taken in order to be a victim. Very little. There's not a whole lot you have to do to be a victim. All you have to do is place blame somewhere outside of yourself. That's really it. There's no responsibility required. It's super easy to do, you can blame anybody, right? Our modern culture even reinforces this narcissism. We've got a culture that is the era of "I" look at all technology, iPhone, iMac, "I", this, "I" that, everything that's pointing to me, me, me, me, me, we created a me, me, me generation complex. Everything's about me, all the marketing, not all of it. I shouldn't say all the marketing, but so much marketing informs you that you deserve this. Listen to me. There are "thought leaders", I use my air quotes on that, because I don't really think they're great thought leaders, there are books, there are events, there's all kinds of stuff out there right now that is screaming to you, especially ladies, especially women, that is screaming to you that it's all about you. You shoulder all the world's problems, you take care of everybody, you need to focus on you, become very self-centered, take care of you, spend time on you, there's these messages out there that are screaming to people, you, you, you you. And my gosh, they are making tons of money. hand over fist these events, these books, tons of money is being spent for this message that says, "Oh yeah, I truly am a victim in this world. I truly deserve to be taken care of. It is about me, I am so amazing, and how I take care of everybody on the planet and I need to just focus on me right now." Right? I even heard, I mean this, this one thought leader had a decently large event. And the thing she said was, "The best thing you can do is to focus on you." Well, listen, you are not going to hear me say that you should not take care of yourself. This is a show that consistently talks about how to do healthy things, to take care of yourself to put you in the right situation. But what you will never hear me say is, "Man, the world is all about you. You should so focus on you, you're a victim to all the things that you're a part of. And you just need to spend time in this quote unquote, 'self-care process', where it's all about you all about you all about you." Do I think you should have self care? Absolutely. What should it look like? Responsibility. Healthy boundaries. Taking care of yourself by making sure that you're healthy so that you then can take care of other people.

Chris LoCurto  08:44

But I don't believe in this message that's been permeating our culture for a long time that says everything is about you. How do you miss it? How do you not see it? Look in every bit of marketing. It's everywhere. So what's the story of how we got here? Here's just a little historical perspective. So after World War Two, when the baby boomer generation came on the scene, there were radical shifts in parenting techniques, as well as drastic lifestyle changes. So we're going to back up before that and kind of see what happened there. No, I didn't just blame the baby boomers. What you're going to see me discuss is changes in parenting, okay? So as we see a lot of these adjustments, so much of it came from how our parents and their parents and their parents and their parents made adjustments along the way. So if you were born in 1900, and you're listening to this show, I'm incredibly impressed. Well done, well done, and I really want to meet you. If you were born in 1900. Here's what your timeline looks like when you were 14 years old, World War One starts, and it ends on your 18th birthday, with 22 million people killed. Later in that same year, the Spanish flu epidemic hits and continues until you're 20. 50 million people die from it in those two years. 50 million. When you're 29, the Great Depression begins, unemployment hits 25% global GDP drops 27%. That goes on until you're 33 years old, the country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turned 39, World War Two starts, you're not even over the hill yet. When you're 41, the United States is fully pulled into World War Two between your 39th and 45th birthdays 75 million people die in the war, and the Holocaust kills 6 million people, which is actually 11 million people believe it or not, because five and a half million people were Germans believe it or not. At age 52, the Korean War starts and 5,000,011 more perish. At age 64, the Vietnam War begins. And it doesn't end for many years, 4 million people die in that conflict. approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis and a tipping point in the Cold War, life on planet Earth could well have ended, great leaders prevent that from happening. As you turn 75 The Vietnam War finally ends. So what happened in between there? You know, it's 75. You know, if you're a kid in the 80s, you know, if you're born in the 80s, you probably didn't think your 85 year old, great grandparents knew what hard life was like. Right? Because you really didn't know what was 80s like, you know, I'm 51. You know, I was born in 1970. And the 80s were decently fantastic for me, I didn't know about all these difficult times, I don't know about all these troubles, right? I wasn't experiencing those things by the mid 80s. The conditioning of thinking about ourselves is already happening, right? It's been a gradual process of self interest and a lack of purpose right? But if we roll back to after World War Two, who's born? Right, the baby boomers. Why was it called the baby boomers? Why are they called the baby boomers? Because a whole lot of people were excited that the war was over and a lot of people were, you know, doing their thing. That sounded so lame. But hey, you know what I'm talking about. And so we have this huge boom of children after the war, right? And so all of those people that experienced life, before having those kids, they started making adjustments. Those baby boomers grow up into the 60s, and they start experiencing things of wanting, you know, free love and peace and drugs and all kinds of stuff, right? And those people have us, Gen X. What do we find with Gen X? A lot of Gen Xers grow up with parents that are harsh, that are difficult, right? And Gen Xers, who are one of the workiest generations on the planet, they work hard. They definitely have a lot of personal responsibility. Guess what happens to the Gen Xers? They decide they are not going to raise their kids like their parents raise them. So a lot of them have the millennials, and how do they raise the millennials? On a pendulum swing. If they grew up with harsh parents, that they grew up with difficult or even abusive parents, then what you find is they actually swing to the other side and they start raising their kids, you know, without having to work. You know, I was working at 14 years old for a paycheck. I was working before that just not on an official payroll. But my first official payroll started at 14 years old, right? A lot of Gen Xers were working hard where having good work ethic instilled in them. But what tended to happen in a lot of them is that they raised their kids on this pendulum swing from not being you know, harsh or strict with their parenting and instead not making their kids do chores have work, get a job, tell them no. So what you find is the next generation because they're not being parented with boundaries. They're not being parented with work ethic, they're not being-and by the way, I'm making very general statements here. So this does not apply to everyone. But it does apply to a lot of people. What we see is that next generation is raised believing it's all about them. We now have at that point, lots of video cameras, we now have the ability to buy lots of toys, we have the ability to do all kinds of things for the kids, we have the ability to not have kids have to go get a job, and work, and do chores around the house and what happens? We start raising kids that believe that everything is about them, that life is about them. There is a episode that we did on the quarter life crisis, I don't have the number off the top of my head, where we talked about how people were getting to mid 20s, age 25. And having a life crisis, just like those that have had a midlife crisis. Young people were having it at 25. And my generation Gen X is going, "You're ridiculous. What the heck is wrong with you? You're 25 years old, what crisis do you have?" Here's the problem. They actually did have a quarter life crisis. And here's the reason why. Because they were taught and trained to believe that the world was supposed to take care of them. That the world was gonna give them what they wanted, what they needed. And if they weren't getting it, then it was the world's fault. It was everybody else's fault. So they leave home from parenting that is saying, you know, you're my most important thing, and I take care of you no matter what, they get out into the world, they go to college, what do they experience a college, you know, the party for most people, once they get out, and they get into the workforce. They experience owners and leaders who really don't care to treat them with entitlement. And so how do they respond? Well, you suck, you're not doing what I want, you not give me what I want. And so they respond with entitlement, and they bounce from job to job to job, nobody's taking care of them. Nobody's supplying them all their needs. They hit 25. And they are freaking out. Now, as I go through all of this, I've probably offended a bunch of you, you're probably not listening to exactly what I'm saying. What I'm listing off is a list of processes that have happened, choices that have happened. This is not me going around saying oh my gosh, millennials are horrible. Oh my gosh, baby boomers are abusive. What I'm saying is, is that there were processes that happened in large swaths of our country, yes, I just use the word swath, large parts of our country during these different generations. And we're seeing the effects of them.

Chris LoCurto  18:21

So if you were born in the 80s, and 90s, you were already being conditioned to think more about yourself than you were other people. Again, it was a gradual process. So what happened to us? We went from the greatest generation, to a generation without direction. We went from the selfless and the heroic acts of World War Two, which gradually gave way to self-addiction in the 60s and 70s. Today, our current political climate, rewards victimization, categorically assigning an identity to people determining their value based on a victimhood score. This is so incredibly destructive. So when we come back how I person become self-centered and unfulfilled.

Chris LoCurto  19:21

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Chris LoCurto  20:19

So let's take a look at the destructive nature of victim mentality, a person without care or concern for the welfare of others loses sight of what really matters. A sense of purposelessness is rampant today, we see it all over the place, which is why we spent all last month talking about purpose. What happens when you do not have purpose? A person without a sense of purpose inevitably turns inward, instead of outward, where else you can go? They become self-focused, they become self-absorbed, they become narcissistic, and they become a victim. Now, one of the worst things for anybody going through Next Level Life. I shouldn't say it that way. It's just a tough thing is when somebody discovers that they have victim mentality. Everybody who has victim mentality knows people who are victims. That's the funniest thing. You know what they say, the old saying is, "You hate the things and other people that you hate about yourself." Right? It's not difficult for people to see other people who have victim mentality. It's really difficult for people to see that they have victim mentality, that the world owes me that I'm a victim to, you know, my plight, that I'm a victim to where I stand today, that I don't have any way of being able to fix this stuff. Listen. I did grow up in a generation-and I will tell you this, I praise God. I had a mom that taught me work ethic. I praise God that I had, you know, opportunities, yes was I working at a very young age? Yeah, I was. And praise God, I came from, you know, we had incredibly poor times in our lives where, you know, we didn't have electricity. There were some times we were washing clothes on the front porch. And a barrel washer. If you guys know what that what I'm talking about. The church would deliver food to us, we would get government cheese. We had times of that. But we had times of work ethic, we busted it. My brother and I during the summers, we would go out and we would drop trees and we would split it by hand and we would sell firewood to put food on our table. Every-oh, just about every morning, a lot of mornings before school. And the wintertime we were shoveling snow. "Get up you go take care of that you get your butt to school, you better get good grades in school." Right?

Chris LoCurto  23:00

There's a whole lot, we had chores around the house, there wasn't chores as an option, "Hey, if you'll come and clean your room, I'll pay you." You did chores because you were part of a family. It was your job that was it. I praise God for that. I praise God that I have a work ethic. Right? But what happened to my generation? How did it transition from my generation to the next generation? That that was a bad thing. That that was something that was difficult. The truth is, when we become self-absorbed when we think it's all about us, it's incredibly difficult to help someone else. And it's incredibly difficult to help somebody who is self-absorbed to see where to take responsibility for their words, their actions, their lives. Sometimes, the victim mentality is so strong, that somebody is convincing themselves that they are such a victim, that it's virtually impossible to help somebody to see that they're struggling with victim mentality, that they're not taking personal responsibility, right? That the world owes them something. And that's just the way that it is and you're just wrong if you say otherwise. The person with a sense of entitlement believes that everything that happens should somehow benefit them. That anything unfavorable or unfortunate that happens in life is happening to them. If you want to know if you have victim mentality. Ask yourself this question. Is everything happening to you? Or are bad things happening to you? Do you have the ability to change them? Do you have the ability to put in boundaries, healthy boundaries? Do you have the ability to make different decisions? If the answer is all of this is happening to me and I can't do anything about it, guess what? Ding. You have victim mentality right? They are victims in their mind. They blame others they are owed. Now, what I do not want you to do is confuse this with those that are actual victims in life. There are actual victims in life. There are children of abuse, there are children of sexual abuse, there are adults of sexual abuse. And there are, you know, people that have experienced horrible, horrible things. That's not what we're talking about here. So don't get that confused. That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the person who blames everybody else for all of the things in their lives, that they can actually do something about, but they choose not to. So Epictetus said, "An ignorant person is inclined to blame others for his own misfortune, to blame oneself, is proof of progress, but the wise man never has to blame another or himself." Folks, here's the deal, the person with a sense of responsibility believes it's their duty to deal with whatever comes up, to be accountable, to accept all those consequences of their own actions. Right? "Well, Chris, how can I control when somebody is doing-" put in healthy boundaries. Do something about it.

Chris LoCurto  26:18

I recently had somebody who was trying to literally change things I was saying in a conversation three times to try and prove a point. To which I said, "You've now changed what I've said three times, I'm gonna put in a healthy boundary here, I'm done with the conversation. And I hope you can appreciate that of me. But if you want to have a better conversation, let's have that. But I'm not going to stand here while you change the things that I say, to try and prove something for yourself." I wasn't mean, I wasn't rude. I wasn't a jerk. Instead, this high S personality, put in a healthy boundary and said, "I don't want any of this. I'm not going to be a part of this." What is the victim say? "You're never going to believe what that person did to me. Oh, my gosh, they were terrible. They were horrible." Right? That's how victim mentality responds. What does healthy respond like, "Hey, this isn't acceptable. And I don't want it, no, I'm not gonna receive it. Therefore, if you want to change things we can do differently." I didn't hold any 'ought' against the person. I didn't think they were a horrible person. I just realized that in that current situation, they have an agenda, and the agenda is to try and change the things I say, so that it aligns up with them. Now, I just don't have time for that. So here's the deal, folks, I have so much more to say about this. I have a lot that I can say. But we're gonna have to pause here for now. So be looking for the second part of this episode, where we dig into the solution side, and discuss how you can start changing your inner dialogue about entitlement. So parents, listen, this may be really helpful for you as well, if you see this mentality in your kids, you probably do. But I'll tell you what, it's going to be really helpful if you see it in yourself, because you're going to perpetuate this to your own children, right? So when I again, when I look at my generation, so many people in my generation did come out of pretty unhealthy home lifes. I know, I experienced a lot of it as a kid. Right? There's a lot of unhealthy families, right. And guess what? Unfortunately, I watched a lot of them do exactly what I've shared today. Does that mean they're just horrible people? No, it doesn't. It means that in the best estimation they had. They tried to make things better, not recognizing what they were setting up. So when we look at how we've been trained, this is the basis and the the foundational piece of the root system this is so fundamental to what we teach in next level life is discovering why not just how everybody can see the Hauer can see the what the difficult part is understanding the why why does this exist the way that it does for me specifically, right? So when you can understand that and it's always different for every single human being on the planet. When you discover your personal why it helps you to make better decisions. So if you're a parent, you need to be listening to this you need to be looking and seeing if you're experiencing this and your kids. So folks, hopefully this has helped you today. Again, we're going to dig into this even deeper on the next episode. As always, I hope that you can take this information ship change leadership, change your business, change your life. And join us on the next episode.

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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

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