Keeping Greed in Check

Question from a Wealth Club member: How do you keep your greed in check?

Answer: First, it's important to realize that there's a difference between greed and a desire to make the most of the life you've been given.

This is important because it speaks to the underlying motivation.

For example, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be free of the stress of feeding your children, or being able to help those in need, or being able to eat quality food and live in a safe neighborhood. Those things require money!

That's completely different than someone who is greedy. Greedy people are really obvious. They invite you out to lunch and then insist to the waiter that they split the check; or even worse, when the waiter asks "One check, or two", they stay quiet hoping you'll pay. These are people that want to acquire just for themselves; they are mostly takers and consumers.

Don't get me wrong. Greed is a temptation that we all deal with - and the best way to keep it in check is pursue wealth for the right reasons in the first place.

For example, most people say, "I want to be wealthy so I can help others." A great way to find out if that's a facade is to ask that person if they do anything generous now; or even better, invite them to lunch 😉 I personally love inviting people to lunch and paying for them. As silly as it sounds, to me it's fun!

So if you do that self-assessment and realize that you may not be as generous as you thought; then it's a good idea to start working on that right away; because there's one thing we know; greedy people in general are not good for society.

Wealth can be very corrupting, especially if the person is weak morally in the first place.

So the best countermeasure is to adopt a strong set of core values that are unwavering, and couple that with an altruistic goal that makes wealth only the checkpoint and the goal the finish line; that's dandy.

It's also a good idea to identify a desired lifestyle now that you can be content with, and make a pact with yourself to not surpass that.

This will keep greed in-check as well.


J. Patrick Nichols

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