In this post, I intend to show how greed can be a very positive emotion and not just negative as many people make it out to be.
First off, any emotion that exists has to be useful. This is an unproven statement, but not so unreasonable if you take into account that evolution would not have bred it into humans if it was not useful for increasing genetic fitness in some way.
We all procrastinate. We settle for less. We stay in our comfort zones. Procrastination is one of the things that everybody encounters on a regular basis. What it comes down to is that it is a useful strategy according to evolution. If you procrastinate and act lazy – unless there is the promise of imminent danger or massive reward – then you use a lot less energy than you would if you were active constantly and worked until you dropped. You never know when you might need that energy to fight invaders or gather food. In prehistoric times, being tired meant being dead.
Greed is one of the ways to spur people to action. This action is sometimes destructive. In ancient times, plunder was a major way to acquire resources. Not just stealing things, but also conquering territory or kidnapping mates. Greed is when you think that with little effort (or even a lot) you can hit the jackpot of rewards. People who acted on their greed in some situations fared better than those who didn’t. That is why greed is an inbuilt human emotion.
Even in modern society, greed has been very valuable. How much progress has humanity not made as a result of always wanting things to be more, bigger, shinier, faster? If humans were just content with their lot, would still have been living in the Stone Age and eating off berries and wild game. We would have been content with what we had and never reached the dizzying heights of organization, technology and power that humanity now controls.
Greedy people are much more ambitious than the non-greedy people. This can give them an edge that allows them to outcompete the people who are content, unambitious and who are satisfied with a simple life. How greedy you are can be the difference between winning and losing in the competitive parts of life.
Greed can make you stupid. We have all heard of people who commit horrible crimes motivated by greed. People who would never have considered being dishonest or hurting people find themselves lying to people, betraying them and creating a lot of pain for themselves and people they love.
Greed is an emotion like any other. It can corrode your very existence. It can be the force that drives you to reach your potential. Ultimately it boils down to how you use it. Like all emotions, it can be something that controls you or something that you control to increase your potential and rock out! Try it. Go out and BE GREEDY!
To happiness, and beyond!