When something we interpret as good, our brains manufacture chemicals that make us feel good. Naturally we are inclined to want more of the feel-good-stuff and we endeavour to do more of that which makes us feel good. However the impact (the feeling good) decreases every time we do the same thing. Therefore we need to do more in order to pursue the original impact.

I can elaborate…

In high school I got my first investor, she was my mother, who invested R200 ($18) so I could signup for a program that allowed me to sell prepaid-airtime using my cellphone. At the time this technology was new and scarce and it allowed my customers to buy airtime more conveniently. The money I made from that business gave me my first taste of independence – I could buy things I wanted without having to ask anyone.

But I couldn’t buy myself the same things because the marginal benefit I would get would decrease. So I had to buy myself “better stuff”, which inadvertently cost more in order to sustain the same level of gratification. This meant I had to work harder and make more money to get the same gratification.

Even though time and experience has taught me that there’s more to business than simply making money and blowing it, the fact is I get a thrill when I earn money to spend on what I choose, primarily because it feeds the same “gratification” that was created by a R200.00 business.

Greed is a result of the input cost of pleasure growing but the pleasure itself remaining constant. It costs more and more for the mind to create the same chemicals to make one feel good. As a millionaire it eventually costs a Ferrari to get the same thrill that one got from buying their first car.  I call this the Chemistry of Greed.

Part 2 of 2 coming soon…

Vusi Sindane