Friday, September 06, 2013
"For greed all nature is too little." -Lucius Annaeus Seneca
When is too much not enough in life?
In the 1987 movie Wall Street, the main bad guy Gordon Gekko pronounces "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit." Greed is about never being satisfied with what one has. It is always wanting and expecting more. It is an insatiable hunger.
When put that way, we see those same descriptors are the driving forces behind success, behind achieving your goals in life. So when we become selfish, to the exclusion and detriment of others, greed becomes a negative force in our life. And greed doesn't happen just when it comes to wealth. We can become greedy with relationships, work, in nearly any facet of our lives. When we become selfish in one area of our life to the exclusion of others, we have developed a level of greed.
There are unpleasant effects on our inner emotional lives when it comes to greed. Anxiety and restlessness will be felt when we focus solely on the craving for more or that one desire. What results is a false assurance that once we obtain that desire it will put us at ease or make us satisfied. But greed only creates that vicious circle in which "...all nature is too little."
What becomes of us when greed succeeds?
The cycle of never having enough can become destructive in your life and many times does. It leads to creating a second secret life in which you try to maintain a public appearance but that second life is feeding your greed. That second life gets nurtured more and more becoming a larger part of who you are. Eventually the second secret life can no longer be hidden. It is found out and all that you had will start to unravel in various forms.
We have seen and read it hundreds of times; the benevolent money manager has been skimming funds to feed his/her greed or any number of other greed fueled lives. Sex, money, sports, exercising, even religion can all develop into greed or addictive behaviors to the exclusion of everyone else in your life. Eventually it can fall in upon itself from the weight of selfishness.
So what price are you willing to pay for unlimited success? Will you find enough in your life once you have achieved success? Will you fall prey to the greed of success?
These are not easy questions to answer. And merely focusing on the negative light of greed, maybe you can focus on the positive force of generosity. Allow the light chase out the darkness of greed. When we focus more on being self-less, when we serve others, then success will fuel the non-greedy forces in your life.
A vessel filled will never contain all the world. But a vessel that continually pours into others will always have room for more. And that is your life; a vessel meant to pour into the lives of others.
Stay inspired my friends!
And for your amusement, here is an example of greed gone too far.