I read a headline yesterday in a magazine the drove me a little nuts.
“Does Steve Jobs deserve all the adulation?”
(The title did its job though; it led us both to read an article.)
It contained the predictable extreme opinions of some talking heads who argued that Jobs either changed the world or that he was just another an exploitative egomaniac. I learned nothing new from reading it other than the beliefs of people who have no relevance on my life.
However, it was the framing of the article that really got under my skin…
Certainly pitting opinions against one another is good marketing. Strong opinions attract eyeballs and elicit emotional responses from readers. But I believe debates over what one deserves to be pointless.
Implicit in the question of what someone deserves is that somehow we must achieve some level or “worthiness” in order to justify whatever it is that we have allowed into our lives.
Because we are inherently worthy of everything and anything we desire, to question what one deserves is a red herring, a distraction that can keep us from embracing ownership of our creations, both wanted and unwanted.
Only when you own your creations is it possible to work backwards and begin to learn new things about yourself. Specifically, only when you look inward do you have an opportunity to witness the old beliefs that keep you apart from your deepest desires.
In this way, to debate whether someone is worthy over what they have created is like asking, “Does the sky deserve to be so blue?”
While you might find people willing to debate this, it does not change the fact that the sky is blue.
Debating whether Jobs deserves to be lauded and rich does not change the fact that he was lauded and rich. Whether someone else likes these facts due to their own beliefs is irrelevant.
Instead of entering the whether debate regarding what you (or someone else) deserve, you’d be much better served to ask why.
(Consider this especially true if you desire to become rich/lauded yourself, or occasionally find yourself resenting the success of another.)
Why was Steve Jobs so rich? Why was he lauded? Why did his creations resonate so deeply with people?* And so on…
Why not learn from his creations and apply this knowledge (and perhaps taking note of what you like and dislike about how he did it) instead of debating it?
Again, we all inherently deserve to experience anything and everything we desire in this life. That’s not up for debate.
The pertinent question is whether we allow ourselves to experience anything and everything we desire in this life.
Asking this question requires you to put your focus where it belongs, and on the only thing you truly have control over…
Circumstances cannot hold you down. Nor can governments, banks, corporations, or any other institutions. No person wields power over you. No group has the power to lord over what you deserve.
You hold all the power over what you experience in this life. It will be as fantastic (or disappointing) as you choose to allow it to be.
So if you’re not getting exactly what you want, the fastest way to remedy the situation is to begin looking at your beliefs. Specifically, look at why you do not believe you deserve what you desire.
This is where the answer you seek lies.
Anything else is just some version of tongue wagging and finger pointing.
* I did my best to answer these questions a couple years ago when writing my first book, The Very Cool Life Code. My first task was to break down and define the elements of what makes something “cool” and one of the first places I did research was Apple. In short, I defined cool as that which evokes the feelings of freedom, ease, and connection.