You probably remember this famous line delivered by fictional character Gordon Gekko in the hit movie Wall Street, played by the always amazing Michael Douglas. Greed has always taken a bad rap, but the the truth is, greed really IS good. Greed is responsible for every major innovation and advancement in human history. Greed is simply excessive desire to get what you want; and it’s greed that built America and every other great nation. I’m sick and tired of listening to big mouth pundits on TV and radio talking about how noble and charitable the American founding fathers were. Are we ever going to move into objective reality? These guys were greedy to be free from their oppressors, and their excessive desire to “live free or die” motivated a small group of otherwise peaceful citizens to take up arms against an enemy that was seemingly imposible to defeat. Thats greed. I have a friend with a very sick child who told me she’ll do anything she has to to raise the money she needs to save her daughters life. That’s greed. When you’ve had enough of working for a boss without a brain and are willing to stake your entire life savings on starting your own business to break free, thats greed. Gekko was right when he said: “Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all its forms–greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge–has marked the upward surge of mankind. That’s mental toughness and critical thinking. Listen to this short audio post, and I’ll look forward to your comments. Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.
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13 thoughts on “Greed is Good”
I LOVE IT, THANK YOU FOR CLARIFYING THAT FAMOUS SAYING IN A MORE POSITIVE WAY.
Steve, you are one twisted son of a gun
No limit of supply? In what sense. This is a finite world. Mental toughness takes that into account also. No delusions accepted. How to get the most out of what is available, not imagine what is available is infinite.
Greedy for the truth, for the facts.
The best of 2010 to you.
Steve takes a conventional definition and turns it into a non conventional but accurate one. You could do the same with a definition of “selfish.” So it depends on how you use definitions.
World class performers have a hunger for things and an obsession for things way beyond the average and lower class wants in life. BUT with a little tweeking anyone can put a little of that in their life and get more out of it.
So whether you call it greed or selfish interests, hunger and obsession or any number of terms, by understanding it’s OK to want and get more people often step over past limitations they set upon themselves.
The best of 2010 to you.
Interesting post Steve. Typically the definition and generally accepted associations of the word greed are of the Trump psyche. When the word greed is defined by the thought process of those with a poverty class consciousness, working class consciousness, middle class consciousness up to and including people with an upper class consciousness it is thought of as a win/lose relationship, victor vs. victim. Up until this post that is how I always defined the word greed. When looking at the definition as “selfish excessive desire” and seeing it through the lens of a World Class Consciousness your supposition is valid. Knowing that the generally accepted definition of the word greed will be assumed in 99% of all communications, in the interest of being understood, I will restrict the use of the word greed to only those times when it can be used to instigate interesting debate.
As always this has been thought provoking. Thanks.
Right on, Steve.
I would like to add one critical thinking addition to this. I totally believe in greed, but controlled greed. It keeps people from taking it to excess and hurting other people.
Going all out, stretching as far as you can, and busting your ass to get all you can with ethics and integrity is what mental toughness and success is all about.
I get the point of this blog post, but do you really believe you should have desire to the level of greed? “Obsessive” desire is healthy. It motivates you to achieve and get what you want out of life.
Greed is when that desire reaches a level where you don’t care if you hurt others on the way to what you want. The time Tonya Harding had Nancy Kerrigan hit in the knee in order to win a competition comes to mind.
Another great post Steve.
Like Jason I would love to hear your thoughts on health care reform. You seem very opposed to Obama’s ideas. I’m sure a mental toughness coach like yourself has some great reasons to back up these views. I’d pay good money to hear them!
This is mind blowing, i always thought it was bad to want the lion’s share, but today Steve clarified it. It explains it all.
Great message, greed expressed through service is fantastic. Can you in a later blog talk more about your views on health reform? It seems like you think that the insurance companies should be left unchecked. How is their greed helping the American people? I saw your interview where you said that getting fit is the best health reform, I agree with that reality, but that’s piss poor advice to give to sick people who can’t get care. What do you think the solution should be?
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