ISSUE 75 ISSN 1712-468

There is no calamity greater than lavish desires.
There is no greater guilt than discontentment.
And there is no greater disaster than greed. 

Lao-Tzu, The Way of Lao-Tzu
Chinese philosopher, 604 BC – 531 BC

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This Week´s Inspiration

The Destructive Path of Greed!

Greed: acquisitive or selfish desire beyond reason

Covet: to desire enviously

Greed is difficult to frame because of all the different ways it can manifest itself in our lives. One thing proven throughout history is that humankind is riddled with it—especially when you add any level of power into the mix. Then you have some of the foundational elements that contribute to global corruption.

Some people might argue that our culture of self-centeredness and selfishness is to blame for our greed. But think about 2- and 3-year-olds. Do they fight over toys? Of course!

Greed is a powerful, crippling compulsion with the potential to consume us all. I will share my personal story in a minute.

I have overheard individuals, who don’t have much in terms of material possessions, make statements such as All rich people are greedy. They say if they themselves were wealthy, they would not be greedy. I disagree. Many of these individuals are already greedy; they just don’t have enough material assets to prove it yet.

Greed knows no bounds. You can be a homeless person living on the street or a billionaire. Greed does not care—it can exist anywhere, in anyone, at any moment. Greed destroys marriages, families, friendships, companies, countries, and lives. 

Con artists around the globe count on that characteristic being present in most of us. Everyone has received those emails—mostly from Nigeria—that promise you millions of dollars if you simply send money to help them release their funds. We ALL know it’s a scam, but many still succumb to that destructive force of greed. They think what if

Greed is a drug that causes usually smart individuals to act irrationally. How did the executives at Enron believe they could have a couple of billion dollars just go missing without anyone knowing? 

Greed takes over like an insatiable addiction. Greed is a voracious animal that takes no prisoners. We must stand on guard to never let its ugly head enter our lives. Take it from someone who knows. Here’s my personal story of greed-driven behavior.

Many years ago, a friend was very involved in a new bio-tech company that had discovered ground-breaking technology that would change the world forever. The company was about to go public. The talk (greed) was hot. I was given the opportunity to privately purchase shares (legally) from one of the founding investors prior to the IPO.

The next part of the story is all about greed and how it can control you, if you let it. 

When the deal was done and shares were trading, I had a chance to double my investment at 90 days. Six figures is a significant sum of money . . . but the talk (greed) was that the stock value was going to treble or even quadruple!

Everyone in investing knows you ALWAYS set your plan and strategy prior to purchasing. Why? Emotions—greed—take over, instead of rational thought. 

Instead of selling the stock and doubling my investment, I waited because I KNEW that stock was going to go up even more. 

Over the next few months, the president of this new bio-tech firm—through his greed—made some very poor decisions that upset his entire network of global distributors. The result? There were no sales. Everyone quit. Stock prices plunged and I lost most of my investment. 

Even when I could get out at a break-even, greed would not back down.

That was a lesson I needed to learn and I’m now thankful I went through it. I am a much better person for having had that experience. 

It must be noted that unless greed is headed off at the pass with generosity, planning, love, and trust, it can take over like a bad weed in your garden. 

And greed and/or selfishness is not limited to your attachment to material items. It can apply equally to time, job, responsibilities, recognition, rewards, acknowledgements, and a host of other items. 

It is because of greed that many legal professionals have jobs and it is because of their greed that it is perpetuated. If the woman who won several hundred thousand dollars in her spilt-hot-coffee lawsuit against McDonalds had instead received a more reasonable amount for her trouble—say a couple hundred bucks—would there be fewer frivolous (greed-based) lawsuits? 

Just watch the processing of estates with and/or without wills and you will see greed in action. At times it’s difficult to believe what people will do. If you think I’m off-base here, did you watch the behaviors of individuals who were left in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina?! Quite shocking. 

Banishing greed does not mean you can no longer embrace thoughts of abundance, purpose, and/or success. The question is: How do you pursue success so that your achievements are more pure and fulfilling?

Greed is reduced when you have your feet solidly on the ground and you embrace life with confidence—playing to your values, gifts, talents, and abilities. 

To assist you on this journey, I am recommending five resources.

This Week´s Action Steps

The Destructive Path of Greed!

  1. First, reduce/rid yourself of greedy tendencies. You must acknowledge we ALL have the potential to be greedy. 
  2. Think back in your life where greed (extreme selfishness) took control of your actions. Consider all the possibilities—from taking too many candies at the family dinner to actions for which you and others had to pay a price.
  3. What has greed cost you in your life? For example, lost money, friends, heath, respect, trust, family, jobs, peace of mind, etc.
  4. What actions, thoughts, or positions do you need to release or reconsider so that you can let go of greedy tendencies?
  5. Others in this world, especially con artists and criminals, count on our greed. Just say No to those temptations and help others banish their destructive tendencies.
  6. Greed can be reduced after you are on solid ground yourself. That can be achieved by engaging the following CRG resources: Values Preference Indicator, Self Worth Inventory, Stress Indicator and Health Planner, My Source EXPERIENCE Journal, and Personal Style Indicator.
  7. Sooner or later, greed catches up with most people. The best way to reduce greed in the world is to NOT be a part of it. 
  8. What actions, thoughts, or positions should you consider doing to fill the void created when you release your greedy tendencies? This step is not an option. The default position will be greed if you don’t fill it with something else.
  9. By replacing greed with more positive character-qualities, you will feel a great release and inspiration in your life.
  10. If you focus on generosity, truth, caring, sharing, compassion, love, and abundance, you might be surprised how little greed will show up in your life.

I wish you the ability, skills, and wisdom to live a greed-free life.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!.

Ken Keis

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