Greed vs. Mindfulness: Is pushing it to the limit always worth it?

Greed vs. Mindfulness: Is pushing it to the limit always worth it?

October 28, 2018 1 Comment

Have you heard of the word "mindfulness?" It's nothing more and nothing less than being present where the human body finds itself. It's a fancy term for being aware. Over the past years, psychology has begun leaning towards the idea of mindfulness which is, at its core, the process of bringing one's attention to the "present- moment experience" to help better perceive the world around us.

If you don't yet practice mindfulness, you're probably saying to yourself "How do I even start?" Starting something new can seem like a daunting task, but great oak trees start off as small acorns. In short: baby steps.

Mindfulness can best be achieved through the culmination of a meditative practice. When I say this, I mean putting aside about 5-10 minutes during the day to sit and be still with yourself.

Developing a practice of mindfulness over time can not only help your general mental state, but it will also bleed into your personal relationships; allowing them to flourish. Mindfulness is a beautiful tool that needs little effort to culminate.

Mindfulness allows us to harness the power of "truesight" - the power of seeing things for what they really are.

As we continue to investigate the topic of mindfulness, defining specific terms allows for a better understanding of concepts.

Mindful interactions consist of choosing to interact with someone based on the present moment. This means no baggage from the past and no thoughts of a prospected future. These interactions are based on the idea of understanding that the ends are all the same but each person internalizes the road towards the end differently in the world within their mind.

An example of a mindful interaction is seeing how the concept of very hot water and very cold water both evoke the same feeling of "too much." A feeling of excess - in this sense, being the same feeling, which was triggered through two seemingly different experiences.

Now that we have a foundation of what mindfulness is, please continue to read this article with a sense of it being "food for thought." When you finish reading through, I challenge you to sit with yourself on the topic we'll be covering: greed.

Turning the negatives into positives can be illustrated if we sit down and contemplate the nature of greed. A lot of people tend to ride the goat until it crashes (metaphorically speaking, of course), but doing this is not always a good idea. More often than not, you'll be getting hurt in the crash.

Why is it that we don't jump ship even if the wings are on fire? The answer is simple, and it's tied straight to human nature: fear.

Greed, in the context of this article means excessive acquisitiveness - wanting more than what you came in for. More than you have a right to expect. In short: losing control of your desire.

Greed is the bloated, self-destructive cousin of acquisitiveness. Acquisitiveness is the natural desire to improve one's material well-being. An animal's primal instinct is to obtain food, nesting, and means for self-protection. We differ from other creatures only in that our wants are more complex. There's nothing wrong with being an acquirer. This is a survival trait and should not be ignored. In fact, the first step in mastering anything comes with accepting that it is present and that it is a part of your persona.

Greed stems from an innate response to the highly competitive world that is society. Greed is the opposite of moderation.

Developing a sense of moderation comes from understanding that "ideally" rarely happens. Looking at your venture and looking at the progress made with an idea of "Hey, I may not be all the way up but at least I'm up!" You've made a solid gain and better yet, you get to keep it.

The degree of risk involved with any endeavor comes with it a certain fear of regret; regret is probably the main factor fueling greed. Greedy actions are a byproduct of the fear of failure. The fear of not attaining a goal fuels a want for more- it distorts and stretches your original vision of success.

How can we live a life free from the fear of regret? In short: mindfulness

In a more structured sense, living free from fear comes by adequately structuring yourself in reference to your situation. Let's look back at greed. We've established that greed is a byproduct of fear. Now let's look at a venture where we want to increase our acquisitiveness. The first step should be in looking for an earning that yields a solid return but not exactly a jackpot. Mindful awareness allows you to conceptualize a realistic outcome based on your current influencers.

Mindful Awareness is a buffer between stimuli that lets you get a feel for your surroundings.

It's crucial that you decide in advance what gain you want from a venture, and when you get it, get out. Understanding what is enough is the first step to controlling greed. As we've discussed, fear is the main reason why this question becomes a challenge - however much one has, one wants more.

There are many events where starting and ending positions are clearly seen, felt, and understood. In sports for example, when the timer goes off and the end game screen appears, there is no doubt in the player's head that the game is over. There's no use in expending more energy - the end is clear.

In the day to day, this becomes slightly less clear of a threshold; limited clear break points exist. This requires us to call our own endings. This technique takes a lot of time to become well versed in but due to the nature of the challenge, I recommend pulling the breaks as early as possible. Explicitly labeling your goals is a tool that provides very good structure in knowing when it’s a good time to "call it a day.”

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This blog post was written by Isaias Garcia. If you enjoyed the article, have any questions or just want to connect you can contact him on Twitter or send him a direct email at
Thanks for reading!

1 Response

Ines Parker
Ines Parker

October 29, 2018

Interesting read!

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