No gains without pains? We, more accurately, could alter this old English Proverb to say “few” gains without pains. Sometimes, we are blessed with something great that we don’t expect or exert ourselves for. On the other hand, we still need to be willing to put forth effort, use our resources, and take some risks to succeed, prosper, and improve ourselves and our lives. We have become, as a society (USA), fairly complaisant and, frankly, lazy. As technology and advances improve our lives and increase convenience, they, too decrease our tolerance and patience. Like a child who is given too much at Christmas and is disappointed there wasn’t more, we have turned into a very ungrateful and selfish nation. Our attention span is shrinking. Our demands are increasing. Our sense of entitlement is exploding. We complain about 5 minute waits or things that require a minimal amount of effort. We would be wise to remember that no one or nothing is likely to put more work into improving our life than we are willing to do ourselves. The next time we feel sorry for our self because our lives suck, we may need to look very closely at our own willingness to work and spend our time, resources, and energy in accomplishing our own goals. It’s easy to blame others, society, the universe, karma, fate, history, etc… for our lack of wellbeing. In the end, we all are given a certain hand to play during this life (no–it’s not equal or equitable) and it’s up to us to take what we have and do the very best we can with it. In the end, no one really owes us a thing. We are not entitled to anything at all. We are born. We die. What happens in between may not always be within our control. However, we certainly do have influence over how we manage our opportunities, disappointments, hardships, and life.