“Don’t you know who I am?, said the ‘star’ to the hotel desk clerk, from his spot – third in line – at the check-in desk.

The person on-line directly in front of the ‘star’ had had enough of the celebrity’s huffing, puffing and grandstanding for special treatment. He turned around and said to the rest of the people in line, in a voice loud enough that the desk clerk could hear too, “This poor man doesn’t know who he is! Can anyone identify this poor soul?”

The above story is based on true events and apparently this scenario is repeated allover the world in places like: airline counters, restaurants, movie lines and anywhere where people wait. There will always be someone who thinks that THEY deserve special treatment.

Why do these people think that they deserve elite status, over and above anyone?

One simple answer is EGO. (or SHE-GO.)

In simple terms one of the ego’s jobs is to protect us and keep us safe. Protect us from harm and ridicule, keep us safe from predators and embarrassment.

What ends up happening for some people is their egos get a little out of line and they start to expect more. More perks. More freebies. More ‘special’ treatment. The more ‘goodies’ the get – the more they want and the more they feel entitled to.

It may all stem from a lower sense of self worth in the first place.  They could feel that the more I am ‘doted’ on, the better I feel. That’s a recipe for unhappiness.

Let’s talk about this from another perspective. I’ve run into many people over the years that are actually afraid of becoming wealthy. When I first heard about this I found it hard to imagine how anyone could be afraid of money or success.

As I listened to these good people, heard their struggles and coached them I found something in common – they were afraid of becoming wealthy because – they were afraid they were going to turn out like someone they knew – someone who represented a negative aspect of how people are NOT supposed to be.

Here are a few sentiments that I uncovered and discovered in my analysis and coaching.

“I don’t want to turn into my Uncle Marco who is a bragging, loud show-off.”

“I don’t want to turn out like Aunt Leslie. She forgot all the people who helped her get to the top!”

First of all, we can all recognize the Uncle Marcos and Aunt Leslies in our lives. They make our lives unpleasant and they can be the reason that many of our relatives skip the family reunion.

The fact that you are thinking about it at all tells me one thing for sure – YOU are NOT going to be that way.

Here’s another insight that I simply call the MAS factor. Money, Alcohol and Stimulants make you more of what you already are.   These three ‘tonics’ (M.A.S.) have a way of bringing to the surface more of the real you.

If you’re a miser and penny pincher when you have no money, you’ll probably be a Scrooge when you have money. If you are a generous, caring soul when you are without money, you are most likely to be a generous, kind, caring, giving soul when you are affluent.

When it comes to alcohol, think of someone you know who is a happy person. When they have been ‘over-served’ they most likely become a ‘happy drunk’. Contrast that to the angry person – how do they act when they have had one too many? Get the picture?

How do we keep our feet on the ground as we shoot for the stars?  One word – GRATITUDE.  Be grateful. Be grateful for every little thing in your life. When you’re grateful for the little things, you will be in a constant state of gratitude as your wealth increases.

As mentioned above, I have seen the sad situation where authors have some success and they start reading their own press clippings and let it go to their heads. For some reason, the authors start acting ‘uppity’ and becoming unreasonable with their requests. They have a need to feel superior – it makes then feel good. Sadly, sooner or later the press clippings disappear or turn negative and the writers end up crashing down to earth and wondering where it all went wrong.

The Golden Rule is still in effect. Treat others how you would like to be treated. It’s amazing how the words, “Thank you”, can change someone’s perspective. A hand written thank you note is treated as uniquely memorable in this age of e-mail and emoji texts.

Finally here a few four-letter words that you can use to enhance your standing while keeping your ego in check: NICE, KIND, HELP, CARE and LOVE. They work. Every time.