Thankful, But Greedy

Cedric Brown Avatar

I saw an interesting status on my Facebook page earlier this week.  One of my friends said something along the lines that people who hustle do it because they don’t have a real job.  I’m pretty sure she was referring to what people consider your typical “hustla” – usually the stereotypical young black man who does “odd jobs” that may or may not be legal.  Believe it or not, my freelance work is a hustle.  So I disagreed with the status and got into a brief, but not heated, argument.  Ultimately, this person just considered me to be greedy.

Since this past week we celebrated Thanksgiving, allow me to reflect on what I have to be thankful for; however, I must admit that I really don’t like talking or bragging about myself (despite what may be reflected in my previous posts).  First of all, I’ve been blessed enough to have a solid-paying job for more than five months.  What’s better is that I’m working in the field I spent my hard-earned money at Northwood University for (marketing/management, if you didn’t know).  Not only that, I’m fortunate to work with a patient supervisor while still utilizing the skills I use in my freelance work.  If this were Twitter, I’d consider myself #winning! And I didn’t even mention my supportive family and few friends.  But, this post isn’t for me to brag about all my blessings. I told you, I hate talking about myself!

With all things considered, I still want more.  Don’t get me wrong, things could be a lot worse than they are now.  I knew some other recent college graduates who are still looking for jobs as we speak.  I’m humble enough to understand that I could lose it all, and yet, in a sense, I’m “greedy” enough to know that there’s more that I can do.  I’m not satisfied with just climbing a corporate ladder when I know that there’s more that I can do.  I mean, who wants the pressure of always reporting to someone? Am I asking for too much?

These guys are greedy, but not thankful…

In my first post, I stated that the most successful people succeed because they do what they love to do.  Another trait of successful people is that, they too, are “thankful, but greedy.”  Once they achieve success on a small scale, they start to believe that they can achieve more.  This isn’t the same greed that’s associated with Wall Street investors.  The most successful people desire to achieve more because they truly want to stand out; the investors on Wall Street just want more money (now that’s just GREEDY).

Think about students who attend graduate school.  What are the main reasons for actually wanting to spend thousands of dollars to write 20-page papers and read hundreds of textbooks they won’t remember by the end of the semester?  Because, they believe that an advanced degree will help in their career advancement.  If you’re an athlete, why do you continue to practice when you’ve already been dubbed “The Chosen One”?  If you don’t suffer from a LeBron James-sized ego, you keep practicing because you want to be more than just the next great athlete.  Even musicians are greedy!  In this age of stuperfying overly-commercialized music, it’s not good enough to have one single that went platium.  To be considered a legitimate icon, you’ve got to dumb down millions of more minds with your music.  Either that, or you’ll be the next MC Hammer; and you know all too well that nobody wants to “touch this!”

Just admit it: even though you spent this past Thursday being thankful for your blessings, watching your favorite football teams, and stuffing your face with all the best of your family’s dishes, you still want more.  You may not be still stuffing your face with Thanksgiving leftovers.  You may not be making your Christmas list of demands that you expect to have in its entirety.  And you probably may even have too much pride to ask anyone to help you out on your way to achieving your goals.  But, most of you are still not satisfied with where you are now, and therefore, you’re making moves to make things happen for yourself.   In the end, the most successful people always want to be more. So, just like the concept behind The Roots’ new album (“undun” coming next week on December 6), you’re the boy who “becomes criminal, but wasn’t born criminal…Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes sense to him…”  When you think about it, isn’t that what we all do?

BONUS: Click the link below to watch a video from The Roots new album, “undun”

The Roots – “Tip The Scale”

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