I have often heard that our goal should be to take care of #1, meaning ourselves. I believe it is important to be conscious about our well being but also have come to believe that we do better in life if it isn’t totally “about me”.
The best example of this is how good consultative sales people. They are skilled listeners and spend a lot of time learning about the customer’s issues and problems before presenting how they can help solve them. When they put the customer first the customer starts to trust them and knows the solutions being proposed have their best interest in mind, not the sellers.
It is also true in jobs. In my first job I thought it was about me, what I could learn and how much I could get paid. I think I had an entitlement mentality of what a college degree should give me, but it didn’t last long. In my next job, I learned that if I put my employer (customer) first I could learn what their needs were and gained promotions and salary increases when I found solutions for them. On the other hand, if we wait for our employer to do something for us we can wait a long time for any furtherance of our careers. This often results in job dissatisfaction, anger, worry and sometimes loss of jobs that defeat our ultimate goal of pursuing peace in our lives. This is also true for supervisors. If they coach and train their subordinates properly they can improve their productivity and build people for more value to their organization. If they can produce winners they will also win.
Most of our money problems can also be traced to the “I” centered mentality. Many things we buy just create more wants of more things. Then greed grows from insatiable needs to satisfy ourselves with things we think will bring us happiness. It isn’t just a malady of the rich; it affects all of us.
I think one trait we can develop to avoid that is to learn to give to the less fortunate. By so doing we can learn to control the self centeredness that we all have plus see and help others less fortunate which not only makes us feel good, but also shows us how fortunate we really are. I don’t see greed so much as a measure of income, rather a measure of giving.