In Dr. John Townsend’s book, The Entitlement Cure–Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the Right Way, he explains how to recognize entitlement, defines the Hard Way, reviews the origin of entitlement, distinguishes needs versus entitled desires, and how to help someone with an entitlement mentality.

Choosing the Hard Way is exactly as the name implies. It’s hard. And to do hard things, sometimes a little extra motivation is required. Motivation can come from many sources, including, but not limited to: wanting something better, needing confidence, and living without regret.

Generally speaking, everyone has some area in their life they would like to improve. It isn’t always easy to see how to make something better, but if the desire to change is nurtured and grown, the desire can become the motivation.

If you or someone you know is stuck in entitlement thinking, take a moment to list what could be better. This could be a job, a business venture, a relationship, a skill, health, or education. If the effort to improve is overwhelming, is the root cause discontent or entitlement? The only way to really know is to honestly assess whether inhibitions are driven by discouragement, fatigue and fear or a complete surrender to the pending change.

If we are so afraid to fail that we don’t even try, we need to build confidence. The desire to build confidence can become a strong motivator for change. Stepping out in faith, with realistic expectations, can help us make progress, even if it means achieving several small wins over time. On the contrary, stepping out in faith with unrealistic expectations can destroy our confidence. We can’t expect to win a marathon if we never ran before. We also can’t expect to win a marathon if we have been surrounded by empty praise without effort.

When we realize that choosing the Easy Way can result in a long list of regrets, this can be the motivation to choose the Hard Way. What if we just would’ve finished college to pursue that dream job? What if we just would’ve swallowed our pride and apologized instead of ruining that relationship? Sometimes choosing the Hard Way is actually “easier” in the long run.

For any change to be successful, discipline is required. The next blog in this entitlement series will discuss the value of discipline and structure in the change process.

©, May 4, 2018


J. Townsend, The Entitlement Cure Finding Success In Doing Hard Things The Right Way, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015. pp. 91-104.

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