So the England football manager Sam Allardyce is caught taking a bung for £400,000 when he is in his dream job; the role he had always wanted. The £3 million a year, plus bonuses didn’t seem to be enough. It appears he wanted more.
It is also alleged that other managers in English football have been caught doing the very same thing. They too, wanted more.
We’ve all heard about the greedy ‘fat-cat’ bankers. It is said that the whole collapse of the market back in 2008, that cost millions of people their livelihoods and thousands their homes, was down to personal greed. The whole catastrophic events could have been avoided but some people in the banking industry wanted more.
We hear and read about blue chip companies who make 120 billion in profits. But they aren’t content with that amount. They are seeking more. They are compelled to satisfy the hunger of their shareholders who also want more.
Are we turning into nations of greed?
It is even reported that some migrants are not escaping a horrific life that some governments are cruelly forcing upon them, but are fleeing their country based on economics. They too want more. They look to the affluent west for it. They want a piece of the money pie too.
And then you have olympic athletes from virtually every country, cheating with the use of drugs. You could say that they do this to win only. But with winning comes financial rewards too.
We have the internet which is also flooded with the promise of making more. Get rich quick schemes abound in plenty. Sure some sites claim that they aren’t that type of company in the small print or disclaimer at the bottom. Yet their headlines (And in some cases their whole marketing campaigns) attract with the promise and allure of more.
And before you think I might be having a go at rich people; I’m not. Greed affects everyone, whatever the economic background is.
Protesters for example, can soon turn their opposition in to looting. They want more too; they are overtaken by greed.
With all this evidence prominently displayed around us, it is easy to think that yes we are all becoming greedy pigs.
It’s human nature…
When I was in sales I was taught about the concept of ‘Fear of loss, greed of gain’. We would create a sense of urgency using this concept. Why? because people from all walks of life are prone to falling for it.
We are all scared of ‘losing out’ and we can all be susceptible to the greed of gain thinking too. It is human nature. And having worked with various and numerous nationalities over the years, I know it is human nature.
Of course we all have to make money. Whether we need millions upon millions is another debate. And I don’t want to sound extreme left wing here either. I have nothing against money or people making millions.
I don’t see anything wrong with capitalism.
It is doing it at any cost that bothers me. When others are trampled on for the sake of somebody earning more. It is when people become as greedy as a pig that it is not right.
Money, like power, is simply a magnifier. It brings out the best or worst traits that are already within that person
And I don’t blame money either. Money is a just a tool we trade for products or services (For now; it could be replaced with something else of course)
Of course greed can be fuelled by peer pressure, envy and the misconception that everyone else seems to be making more and getting more than we do.
Does greed make us happier?
I read a great book a few years ago called Affluenza by Oliver James. In it he travelled through various countries studying the want for more money and ‘stuff’ and to see what effect this want for more was having on the people.
He cites a multi-millionaire from New York who felt he ‘needed’ to buy another house. Why? because his other millionaire friends had more properties than he did. He just didn’t feel complete when around them. 9 houses (That were not rental investments) just weren’t enough; he had to have 10.
“Last year I made $50 million. This year I made $70 million. I am no happier.” Arnold Schwarzenegger
Despite the fact that he could only possibly spend the maximum of something like 4 or 5 days a year in it, he felt he needed to buy the house. He thought he MUST have it. This made this man reclusive, depressed and unhappy.
In this marvelous book, James describes our inherent need for more and how this craving is making more people unhappier not happier.
Want and needs are two different things. It is okay to want something, but do we really need it?
Life is about doing what you love (And making good money doing it) and giving it your best shot
I must be very lucky. I now like to live a more simpler life. Sure I like some gadgets. I like to go on holiday and stay in nice places when I do. But for me it is more the freedom I enjoy. I am not about collecting stuff anymore. I am not about accumulating as much money as I can either. I have had the jobs that paid me thousands a week.
But now I do what I love to do. I help people with my coaching. Of course I get paid for it and quite well too. Now, I am more interested in being able to choose when I work. When I can have a weekend away.
And that is not fuelled with greed. I do no not feel an inherent need for accumulation. I am more focused on being able to say, I gave it my best shot. The mystics were right; it’s not about the destination (The shiny stuff or the money) it is about the journey.
I know other millionaires personally, who live this way too. They live quite simply. If you met them you would have no idea they were a multi-millionaire. And they seem to be the happiest.
Like Oliver James reports in his book (And other studies seem to verify this) the people in Denmark are some of the happiest in the world. And they seem to enjoy the simpler life
So try not to mix up the big difference between wants and needs. This is the biggest factor in greed I think. We are mistakenly led to believe that we are insufficient if we don’t have ‘more’. We are being wrongly convinced and conditioned to feel incomplete if we aren’t getting the new stuff.
You aren’t incomplete if you don’t have the new iphone. Your self-worth is not based on how much you accumulate. Your ‘worthiness’ is far deeper than that.
I learned that when I had nothing. I didn’t suddenly lose my abilities to coach others or write, or help people. I knew my self-worth was based on more than just stuff.
Your self-worth, in my humble opinion, is based on how much you contribute to your fellow human beings, your community or the beautiful planet we live on. And there are many ways you can contribute too. As a great Mother or father; through your work; doing a charity run or simply being kind.
And the paradox is, when you think and act this way, money (Or what you might need to help you on your journey) seems to flow to you so much easier and in abundance too.