I was in my 30’s and in graduate school. I knew that I was somehow involved in what happened in my life, in creating my life. But I didn’t have a real idea of how I created my life beyond ‘being clear about my goal, being motivated, giving 110 %, and never giving up’. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t; gaining the outcome was more like magic than something that was predictable.

The ‘being motivated, giving 110 %, and never giving up’ was the key, because I was constantly dealing with things that went wrong along the way to the goal. What would go wrong? Either I would procrastinate or avoid a conflict in some way, or others would do things that would upset me and I’d respond with too much anger and then there would be a problem with them that got in the way of my achieving my goal.

One day, I was in Dr. Fred Cutter’s office. Dr. Cutter was my teacher, mentor, and ultimately my clinical supervisor and dissertation advisor. I was telling him about an interaction and argument I had with a fellow student…a fellow student who was a committee chair of a committee I really wanted to be part of. I said something like “She’s really my problem.

Fred said, “You get what you deserve.”

I was hurt and angry, but didn’t show it. I thought Fred was a Wizard in how quickly he read people and saw how to help them understand the situation they were in. I left his office and thought about what he was teaching me…”You get what you deserve.”

What do you think Fred was telling me?

Is it true that you get what you deserve?

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