Nov. 26, 2021

Choosing gratitude over entitlement

Choosing gratitude over entitlement

💯 💯 💯 "gratitude, truth be told is not innate. It isn't something that you're born with, it's a learned behavior. And I think that surprises people when you tell them that, but that is why gratitude must be practiced."

EP 48:  There is a strong connection between gratitude and entitlement.  When you approach your life embodying one of these traits, it is hard to possess the other.  Today, I go into my experience as someone who has practiced both sides, and why choosing gratitude is not simply a cliche bumper sticker, but a way of life.  

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Michael Der  0:02  
You're listening to Artrepreneurs, a podcast that inspires photographers and visual artists to live their best creative lives. My name is Michael der and I am a full time photographer with nearly 10 years of experience in the freelancing world. And I'm sitting down with an amazing community of visual artists to talk about process, business, and the lessons that have helped them grow. So let's get to it. Artrepreneurs starts right now. 

What is up friends, thank you so much for tuning into the show and spending a few minutes with yours truly here at Artrepreneurs. Now, before I get into the show, I do have an announcement that is going to be sure to send shockwaves through your hearts and through your brains. It's not hyperbole, I can't hype this up enough, grab a seat, folks take a deep breath. Because today, we launched a Facebook page. Thank you for that enthusiasm. I'm sure it's as thrilling for you as it is for me, folks. But I must admit, I am not that great on Facebook. You know, historically, I almost never check it, I have little to no skill at running pages and community groups. I'm not even going to lie about that. But I am going to try. And so if you all helped me out, it will make it so much better. So all you got to do is follow us at the handle at Artrepreneurspod, which is the same as our Instagram handle and then bask in the glory. That is our content. And if you go one step further, and you engage with us, if you ask questions, if you leave comments and feedback, I'm definitely more likely to keep up with it. So jump on over, give us a follow and join the Artrepreneurs community. 

Now while I'm on the subject of content, I do have a serious question here. So let me know what you all think I have basically for the sake of saving time and energy over the past year, just been focusing on promoting the creative interviews of this show. So if you go to the Facebook or you go to the Instagram page, that's basically all you're gonna see are the guests of the show. Now what I'd like to know is whether you think I should promote the solo episodes as well. So that is me prospecting you the Artrepreneurs community for some advice, holler at us on IG or Facebook, let me know what you think if you think I should be posting something small after each episode, or if you'd rather just see the featured guest promos. 

Also, one little thing to look out for is that Facebook is entering the podcasting space now. So soon enough, if not already, you're going to be able to listen to your favorite podcast straight through the platform. Now I've already done the due diligence and publish the show to Facebook. But this is the first time I've ever done this. So it might need some time before it shows up. But soon enough, you're going to be able to listen to all episodes of Artrepreneurs on Facebook. So keep your eyes open for that. 

So with that out of the way, let's move on the real point of today's episode is to show thanks after all, it is Thanksgiving season and every once in a while let's be real, we might actually need some kick in the ass to be thankful to be grateful to be appreciative of the people the opportunities and the possessions that we do have. Now like a lot of national holidays, the theme might be a little bit forced, it might be a little bit contrived, maybe even a little bit manipulated. But it is for such an honorable reason. If you take away the overtly predatory commercialism of Thanksgiving shopping sales, the essence of why we celebrate this holiday is still very beautiful. So I say for one day, let gratitude have its day in the sun. 

So to start off, let me thank all the amazing guests that have come on this show in 2021. I have thoroughly enjoyed each conversation on this program. And more importantly, I have learned something from every single person that has graced the show. And for those special few that came on early in the season, when there was no history or following on this program. You all trusted me to connect you to an audience. And I just wanted to let you know that your words have not gone on deaf ears. I know I can see it in the numbers, I can see it in the feedback. People text me all the time about how this guest opened their eyes to something they hadn't thought of before. So thank you for sharing your experiences on the show, folks. Thank you for being part of our entrepreneurs journey in season one, I have to shout you all out. That's Kelly Aukey Brandon Magnus Qi when Kyle's ATACR Brad Smith, James, Patrick, Alexis, Quaresma, MC orlofsky, Christina Peters, Todd Bigelow, and Matt Brown, you all frickin rock, thank you so much for being part of this year. 

But of course, the people that I am most thankful for are all of you the listeners of the show, I am frequently flabbergasted by the feedback and the kind words that you have all sent me. And it is so much greater than I ever expected, particularly when I compare it to my previous podcast, I have literally gotten twice as much feedback in the first season of this show, as I did in the three seasons of my prior show. And so you have all kept me going. I'm already internally motivated to do this show. But you make it so much easier and more compelling to show up every week. So thank you for the phone calls. Thank

you for the emails, the direct messages, even the postcards that you send me, you know, I save every one of them and I lean on these for motivation when I'm feeling lazy or down in the dumps. I also want to thank the handful of you who have donated to the show that is so awesome. And yes, folks, let me slide that in there. We do take donations, you know, you can just go to and click on the buy us a coffee button. Now I don't actually use the money to buy coffee. I have enough of that. I use it to reinvest back into the show. So it's a great way to contribute to the growth of this program. If you believe in the content and the message of the show. I will be forever grateful For whatever donation that you can afford, but you know, keep in mind, folks, I'm just appreciative of whatever support you can provide, whether it's following us on social writing a review on Apple sharing an episode to a friend, or simply just listening to us on a drive, your contributions Big or small, are helping this show. So I just want to say thank you from the bottom, my heart for helping out with that. 

Now, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know. But practicing gratitude can be one of the most transformative and powerful tools in your life. And I believe that gratitude is actually given a lot of lip service. You know, a lot of people say they are grateful for the things they have. But truly, they're more pissed off by what they don't have. And the reason why I believe that mentality exists, is because I'm guilty of it myself, I would say that for 95% of my life, I have leaned towards being ungrateful by default. And there's a term for that, I believe we would call that entitlement, you know, the notion that you should be owed all the things that you want better home, better job, better finances, better lifestyle. And the crappy thing about it, folks, is that entitlement has become natural in our culture, each generation gets more and more entitled, because we keep striving for bigger and better things wasn't long ago that our attitude towards air conditioning was that of luxury. Now, to necessity, we haven't gotten more patient with product services and information, we've gotten more demanding of its immediacy and accuracy. We don't have more understanding of our low paying jobs and increasing hours, we get more frustrated and resentful of it. 

And like a lot of emotions, or beliefs or philosophies, whatever you want to call it. Entitlement acts as a gateway towards other attitudes and actions. So for me, entitlement led to laziness, because I just assumed everything would come to me, which led to failure, which led to disappointment, which led to cynicism and victim mentality, which then led to jealousy and anger and depression, you know, I focused so much on the things that I did not have, that it didn't matter what I did have, what I did have wasn't good enough, I knew that. And honestly, at that time, I thought that was the right mentality to have to never be satisfied with less than the best situation. And in some cases, I do think that's a good mindset to have. I mean, you don't get better at golf, by being satisfied with your 40 yard slice, you get better by being dissatisfied with it, and then going to work at fixing it. Now, the danger for me, though, is demanding that any problem that I face be solved immediately and with ease, that sense of entitlement to have it fixed right away to expect results quickly into level up fast. I mean, it breeds expectation, you expect after spending X amount of hours working on something to get a return, you expect after spending $2,000 on a workshop to be transported from one level to another, you expect that maybe by doing a good job for a client, that they're automatically going to hire you again. 

And the reality is folks that sometimes these things don't happen, our expectations are not always met. And the energy that comes from that disappointment is typically very negative, we feel resentful, we feel cheated, we feel like we are owed something. And those sentiments may be justified. I mean, if you pay for a service, and you get bad service in return, it's hard not to feel a certain way about it. But we all know life is not inherently and universally fair. There's a saying that goes, it's not right. It's not wrong. It just is. And so my feeling is that we have the ability to course correct our energy, even amidst times where things don't meet our standards. You know, if you come home from work expecting prime rib and mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables waiting for you, and instead come home to mac and cheese and hotdogs. What kind of vibe do you think you're putting off to your husband or your wife when you scowl at that meal? Now what if instead, you gave recognition to your spouse, that instead of reacting negatively, you acknowledge that today might have just been as stressful for him or her as it was for me? And that you're thankful? All the same? That you don't have to make something yourself? How different Do you think that energy is going to feel for the both of you if you approached it from a place of gratitude and appreciation? And so I asked what if we approached all of our daily interactions, all of our daily tasks, all of our current circumstances, from a perspective of appreciation and gratitude, versus expectation and entitlement. You know, instead of expecting the universe to owe you something, appreciate that you

have the opportunity to keep trying, I'm all about looking forward. But don't fixate all your energy on the future, be present, stay focused on the process, not the results. And the same thing goes for relationships. Do you think you give off the same level of respect to your clients? If you are treating that job as just another paycheck? a means to an end to get to a better client? What if instead, you stayed present? You showed acknowledgment to that client? You ask them for feedback, you inquired what they need the next time? How can you help them level up? Which version of you is going to leave a better impression, which version of you radiates a better energy? 

And it's not just about them. It's also about you which version of you do you think is going to be happier, which version of you is going to feel better? So here's my one request for all of you who struggle with feeling grateful because gratitude, truth be told is not innate. It isn't something that you're born with, it's a learned behavior. And I think that surprises people when you tell them that, but that is why gratitude must be practiced. So here's my request, instead of just reaching out to people to wish them a happy Thanksgiving, which is super convenient, but doesn't really do much to change your self narrative doesn't do much to change your attitude. Instead, reach out to someone well, after Thanksgiving, you know, somehow out of the blue and say, Thank you for helping me thank you for being a role model. To me, I appreciate everything that you've done, you know, and the less interaction you have with this person, the better if you haven't talked to someone in three years, but still lean on her guidance to this day, let that person know, you might be amazed what that might do to your disposition to your approach to life. 

I grew up a somewhat entitled kid, you know, I wouldn't say I was a brat, but I definitely played the victim card, I definitely expected a lot of things to naturally go my way. And I also grew up very depressed from the age of maybe 11 to 27. I was constantly in a state of depression. And so I can't help but wonder if there's a causality there, if those are two very much related things. The more entitled I was, the more depressed I was, the more I lived with gratitude, with presence with appreciation, than the more optimistic the more enthused, and the more happy I became. It seems like this overused cliche to practice gratitude. But I am a firm believer in it, because I have played both sides. And I know that one method led to the worst mental years of my life, and the other has provided me consistent fulfillment and opportunity. So that's food for thought, you know, along with the turkey that you're going to be eaten today. 

Now, one last little thing before I let you all go, I know everybody wants more creative interviews for 2022, myself included. So here's my request to all of you listening, let's help this program out. If you have someone you want on the show, reach out to us on social and let us know who you'd like to have interviewed. And better yet, if you have a connection with someone that you believe would be a great interview, pitch them on the show and connect us after all, folks, this show is as much yours as it is mine. I didn't name it Artrepreneur, I didn't name it, Michael der his version of what an Artrepreneur should be. I named it Artrepreneurs because I think it's collective. Everyone who listens to this show is in my eyes, a member of this community automatically. That is why I respond to questions in these episodes. That's why I have the option for you to leave voicemails that can be featured on the show. And for what it's worth, folks, since we are technically still in the baby stages of the show's lifespan, there will never be an easier time to make an impact on the content that you want to hear on this show than right now. So please send us your voicemail questions by going to entrepreneurs, Tag creatives and professionals that you'd like to hear from on this show, and if possible, give us an introduction if you can, it's all going to help this ship sailed that much faster. So that is my time folks wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving. But even more than that, a life that is filled with gratitude and prosperity. Thanks everybody. See you next week.

Hey, everybody, this is Michael der thank you so much for making it all the way to the end of the episode. I hope you'll follow tag and engage with us on our Instagram account at Artrepreneurspod. We've also launched our website It is the central hub where you can sign up for our newsletter, read our blog posts, send us voicemails, and even access discounts from our amazing affiliates. It's also the perfect spot to shout out entrepreneurs with what would be an immensely appreciated five star rating and review. And if you're feeling extra generous, you can even make a small donation that's really going to help accelerate the growth of this podcast. But no matter what you do, folks, I just want to say thank you so much for supporting this program. There are a lot of great photography podcasts out there and I am just grateful to have gained your trust even for a moment. Take care everyone. See you next week.

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