I was on the train this past week headed into New  York City to give a presentation. It was late afternoon and the train was filled with high school students commuting home. As you can imagine, there were many animated conversations going on at once. I couldn’t help but hear the conversation four girls were having who were seated across the aisle from me.

One girl was telling her friends all about her plan for the summer. She planned on doing nothing; just lying on the beach, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends. She said with great conviction, “I so deserve it. I’ve worked hard all year.”

So upon hearing her declaration,  I had to ask myself how often I have  thought that or said that to myself or anyone else for that matter. How often have I honestly felt entitled to taking a break or time off because I’ve been working so hard.

What happens to me more often than not is that I hit a wall. I work really hard for long periods of time without a day off and then I find myself brain dead and exhausted. Can you relate?

It would be great if I could give myself permission to take a break and feel that I truly deserve it without all the guilt. How wonderful would it be for me to plan these breaks ahead of time so that I don’t reach the point of running out of steam? When I reach the point of exhaustion, I have no choice but to recharge and recover.

I’ve often heard that the millennial generation has a sense of entitlement, but is that really a negative? This teenager was acknowledging that she works hard and is deserving of some kind of reward or break from the push and stress to perform.

I seem to spend more time dealing with my guilt than praising myself and embracing the feeling of entitlement. Is this a generational issue or gender issue or both?

Note to self: You can learn valuable lessons from anyone anywhere as long as you are open to listening (in this case eavesdropping) and receiving the lessons.

PS. I’m now planning my own summer break!

What about you? You so deserve it!