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A sense of entitlement isn’t always bad

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • April 10, 2013

There is a big difference between overconfidence and confidence. The former inevitably leads to failure, loneliness and public humiliation.


The latter leads to greatness.


The secret to being on the right side of the equation is self-awareness. “Know thyself” and you can’t be overconfident.


Which brings me to the title of this post. The infamous plague of those with a “sense of entitlement”.


Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, pointed out that one of the biggest factors in success was a person’s sense of entitlement. He compared Chris Langan, the person with the highest IQ in the USA, against Robert Oppenheimer, chief of the Manhattan Project.


His conclusion was the difference between their career trajectories (mediocre vs spectacular) was attributable to the fact that Chris blamed the world for his lack of success, whilst Robert felt the world owed him success.


Contrary to popular belief, a sense of entitlement is not always bad. But this is predicated on you knowing what you can do (and what you can’t do), and therefore what you’re entitled to.