When we think the word “earn” as in “earn your keep,” “earn your way,” or “earn a living,” it can feel quite bad. (It’s odd, given how we seem to want to earn.) We can have two not-so-helpful reactions. One is a sense of incomplete pride: “Look what I have done (and there’s more to do).” The other, far more common, is a sense of weight: “Look at all I must do (and how will I ever handle it?)”
Take a moment and feel both versions. If you do, you will sense a not-so-good feeling that comes from a deeply engrained, unhelpful thought. For me, that thought might be, “I live in a dangerous world and I must struggle to survive.” For you, it may be, “Who am I? I am small. I must do everything right to avoid danger and remain okay, safe, alive.” The need to earn belies a belief in lack.
As with all bad-feeling thoughts, these are not true. We are not threatened as we fear and we do not need to “earn” anything. We can set goals and seek desired results, for sure. We can navigate by curiosity. We can give and receive. We can spend time. We can engage others. We can imagine, create, and have fun and meaning via our SweetSpots.
And money and any other desired things will be the byproducts.
In your corner,
PS: Let’s set aside those deep, unhelpful thoughts and replace them with a sense of allowing.