The Sisters of Mercy have a song called "More," in which the singer, Andrew Eldritch, says, "You don't get what you deserve; / You are what you take." I don't know if the second half of this is true, but I certainly know the first half is. The difficulty is, I'm not much of a taker - I don't know how to take things, and I don't think I could do it even if I did know how. I don't think I'd much like it. So it seems to me that if you're not a taker, and you don't get what you deserve, you wind up with nothing much at all.
I always thought that if you do the right thing - and I don't mean the morally right thing, necessarily; I also mean the sensible thing, or the thing that you know is right for you at the time - you get a pay-off. You might not end up with what you want, but you end up not wanting that thing anymore, or you might end up with something else that you want, or that you didn't even know you wanted. That's not true. You can do the right thing, and you can try to change yourself, really try, with profundity and determination, and you can still not change at all. You can deserve, really deserve, a certain kind of happiness, and still not get it. Neil Hannon says, "If you take your chances and you ride your luck and you never never never never never give up / The waves will see you safely to a friendly shore." But sometimes if you take your chances and you never never never never never give up you just end up at the end of your life, dead.