One cookie triggers a craving for two more. On making a million dollars, we crave to make another two. The sheen of a new car or a dream job wears off fast.
A sense of entitlement is burnt into our behaviour. Behavioural scientists fittingly call this tendency the hedonic treadmill. Despite running on it and wearing ourselves out, we never seem to arrive.
The opposite of entitlement is gratitude. While a sense of entitlement considers every gift as a right, gratitude helps us see how every right is a gift. Gratitude and entitlement are incompatible. In the presence of gratitude, entitlement vanishes.
Entitlement is the default setting in our brain that constantly robs us of happiness. Gratitude is the deliberate habit that helps us undo this affliction.