“You Only Get What You Give”

Happy Tuesday everybody!


Here I am. Cheating on Second Cup once again with a venti mocha from Starbucks. It seems like Tuesdays I have a tendency to find myself at Starbucks lately. Day off to end up across town with my “significant other” holiday shopping and now I’m taking the time to gale you in some insights.

The New Radicals “You Only Get What You Give” has been playing in my head the last couple of days.

Really it has all to do with a book that I have been reading called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Mason.


I haven’t made it through the whole book yet, however the first couple of chapters have been quite enlightening. The premise, from what I have gathered so far, is discussing why we care about things that really do not matter and push aside the things that perhaps would be nice to focus our time and energy into.

For example, a friend or family member asks you for money. You are scared that you will lose your relationship with them if you do not comply with their demands so you keep giving into their requests. However, this could be costing you from keeping up with your own personal bills or expenses. Obviously you do not want to put them in a bad situation, and typically when they ask and you can make the necessary budget for your own expenses, it is something you gladly do without hesitation. However if you are going without for something else because you are giving them money, depending on the situation, especially repeatedly, you can begin to feel resentful towards them for putting you in this position over and over, and perhaps begin to resent yourself for not having much of a back bone to say no and leaving yourself without your necessities.


But honestly, when you say no, it really is a test of character on your part and theirs. If they realize that they have been putting you in this tough position if you say no, one of two things will happen.

  1. They will respect your decision and understand: if they are also going through a rough time they understand. The economy is making it a difficult time for everyone and people, sometimes, have to look out for themselves and their nuclear family.
  2. They will show their true colors: if they have been using you for your passive nature and have been taking advantage of you then they will appear to be angry. They will probably accuse you of being cheap, or a horrible friend, or a horrible part of the family, because you’re not helping them out.


Number two may melt into number one after they cool down. They are not use to you saying “No!” Think about a spoiled child. If they expect something and do not get it generally they will begin to throw a tantrum and say horrible things like “I hate you!” and “You don’t love me.” However, with time, they will begin to learn the most valuable lesson that perhaps my parents taught me, and perhaps one that has held me back for quite some time (more on that at a later time.) “You can’t always get what you want.”

If number two continues to be bitter towards you because you are not helping them, well perhaps this is the wake up call you need. This is the person that has been using you and does not respect you then they were never a true friend or family member. You have to re-evaluate your relationship with this person and question if they are worth the energy to fight for. Are they worth giving a fuck about anymore? so to speak. Take that energy you were using to save that relationship and, despite that eerie feeling it gives you, put that energy towards something for YOU and your own well being.

This is really a tiny example that I can think of on a small scare of putting the practice of the book to good use so far.

But when I think of what else it has opened my eyes to, it really hits home. There is a chapter that is called “You Are Not Special”. Yes! That sounds harsh. That sounds rude. That sounds like the complete opposite that Barney taught us at such a young age!



What Mason means by this is really that we are all people in this world. We are not better than the person next to us.Some know more, some have seen more, some have experienced great triumphs and horrors, but really, that doesn’t make them any more entitled than anyone else. We are not entitled to anything. Life does not owe us any rewards for living. Some things may come easier to some than others, but that doesn’t mean that they are entitled or deserve these things any more than anyone else.

When I think of “You Only Get What You Give”, it reminds me that you have to work for the things you get. You can’t expect things to fall into your lap and magically work itself out for you. You are not entitled or privileged to receive these things. And up to now, I’ve had it pretty easy when it comes to employment. I pretty much been fully employed or in school for the last ten years, and jobs have come and gone. But now that it’s time for me to actually work at it, I’m scared. I haven’t given it my all to get out there and network, put out resumes, fight for it. And obviously, this is what I get.


Just like that person who you’ve been helping out with their money issues; you were helping them out because you are an awesome human being who generally puts others first. But they are not entitled to your help, and it’s awful if you feel as though they are. Family sometimes puts the pressure of entitlement on you, however, in the end if they love you and accept you no matter what, there is no pressure. Perhaps they need to assess their own budgets and work a little harder at saving money or taking a look at their own personal expenses rather than taking this all out on you. Help them find another solution rather than have them continue to become dependent on you.

So, I guess the moral of these ramblings is that in order to become independent and secure, you have to work at it. You have to assess what you have been putting your energy into, whether that is thoughts, beliefs, actions, and actually decide what to keep and what to discard. If you give yourself negative thoughts and put yourself in negative situations, things will continue to be negative. You have to keep positive, keep optimistic, and keep fighting.


Well, my venti is now gone and has been gone for a while. Time for me to bid you all adieu. Clue this up for another day. With that said, I have another blog entry that I really want to write and hopefully I will get that in before the end of the week so stay tuned for that!

Cheers and Stay Smiling!



3 thoughts on ““You Only Get What You Give”

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