Fuck Your Entitlement

Came up, that’s all me/Stayed true, that’s all me/No help, that’s all me/All me, for real!
– Drake (All Me)

Before you think the opening text is my own way of saying nobody paved the way for me, I’m sorry to burst your bubble.

People paved the way for me and are still doing so, ejoor! Ni tori olohun!

And if you think you can go at anything alone and succeed, then you are mad.

I love my quiet time. I love the creative juices that flow from being solitary. But I know enough to know that greatness can never be achieved in isolation.

You fucking need people!!!!

The thing is just many things have happened to me so fast this year. And it’s been so inspiring and humbling, to say the least.

It’s been only 2 months in but my biggest takeaway this year is MANAGING EXPECTATIONS.

I was in my bathroom having a shower last night when it struck me.

Some of the best things that have happened to me came through friends.

Some of the greatest things that have happened to me came from total strangers.

Some of the worst things came from friends too.

But the difference was always my expectations.

Whenever I felt entitled and expected a certain ‘something’ from someone, it never really panned out.

And I always felt hurt because I thought they owed me this ‘something’.

It could have been money, an opportunity, explanation or a story.

After all, these are my people.

But I just realized that the people my father sent to school in hopes that they’d train my siblings and I someday owe me nothing.

It’s my father they owe.

I’m so sorry for feeling entitled all these years.

Personally, I’m tired of the wicked uncle story.

The friends I made sacrifices for that couldn’t come through for me when I needed help for one reason or another or turned their backs on me outright owe me nothing.

Everything was sacrificed at the altar of friendship.

I’m tired of the fake friends narrative. Learn how to manage your expectations.

I’m going to send money to my mother and spend hours over the phone talking with her because I love her to bits.

Not because of the sacrifices she made for me at a certain point in time.

Even though you are supposed to give your money, time, and attention to people and things that matter to you or have invested in you.

Yet, giving her a billion dollars could never compensate.

They are debts that money can never repay.

Why try to equate it to money?

Even your kids don’t really owe you anything.

Taking care of them, sending them to the best schools, buying them the nicest clothes, feeding them, are all part of what you signed up for as a parent.

You are supposed to give them a head start.

You are simply a bad parent if you choose not to. If you choose to, thank God for you.

If they decide to go astray after everything you did to show them the right way, their choices are on them.

If they decide to study art or do something that doesn’t make a lot of money or doesn’t look commercially viable to you, let them be. They are not your ticket to retirement.

The only caveat is they have to find a way to sustain their passion and way of life from their pockets.

It’s easier to manage your BP this way.

So, today, stand up on your feet, tap your chest and repeat after me.

NOBODY OWES ME ANYTHING!

Say it again.

Even though I owe my God complete and total trust and obedience in His Word.

I owe my parents honour.

I owe my family the singular responsibility of loving, providing and taking care of them to the best of my ability. Plus, my time and total and complete attention.

I owe my friends love, trust and unalloyed loyalty.

If they don’t reciprocate any of this, it’s fine. We move!

The girls that broke my heart owe me nothing, but God will still punish you though. 😭

If you love someone and the love is unrequited, chop your L and move on.

If your spouse wakes up one day and decides to cheat on you, don’t be mad.

As far as you tried your best and he/she still went good will hunting, chop your L and move on.

Love people completely without expectations. The world would be better for it.

I owe strangers respect, kindness, love, compassion, and a fair hearing. Albeit, a second chance even.

I owe myself the responsibility to make the most of my opportunities, abilities, talents and gifts.

But nobody owes me anything.

I have no right to feel entitled to anyone’s time or money or connection or opportunity. Unless I’m paying for it.

I can’t even brag about how hard I push myself or the number of sleepless nights I have to endure. I owe it to myself and God to work hard, strive and prosper.

I owe total dedication, commitment and focus to my craft.

I owe it to God to make the most of the talents, gifts, abilities and opportunities He has given me.

I can’t brag about my resourcefulness or time management skills. I owe it to myself and my God to be accountable for the time I’ve been given.

Lazying about wasn’t part of the contract.

I can’t brag about how many hours I have to work daily. I owe it to my employer. Isn’t that why I get paid?

Nobody owes you their background story. If they decide to share, good for them. If not, keep it moving. It’s their story, not yours.

And for the people who’ve believed in me enough to invest their energy, time, money, and resources, I owe them gratitude and unrepentant success.

I owe myself that too.

Giving to people with an eye on investing and expecting results is a zero-sum game.

Even expecting them to pay it forward, or be kind to someone.

Relationships are not businesses. It’s not a stock market. Looking for profit is a messed up thing.

It’s time we stopped making it transactional.

Unless you are a sponsor and they are running for governor. Please, collect your returns by all means.

If you are investing in their business with an eye to getting a cut on profits in the future, please make it clear.

If you want to help them because you feel an obligation to, please do.

Just help people because you want to.

Help people because you want to show them a better way, or just give them access to a higher level, or simply help them or their business grow.

Help people because you see potential in them. Something they themselves might not even see.

Help people from a place of love and willing sacrifice.

No expectations. No responsibilities. No projections.

If you feel unappreciated, maybe you should start charging them for your time.

No “if it wasn’t for me or after everything I’ve done for you” blah blah blah.

Make sacrifices because you want to. Not because you want to remind them how you made sacrifices on their behalf on a later date.

After all, is it still sacrifices if we get to brag about it?

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

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