Being Genuine Part IV

by Ron

This series of blog posts is based on an article written by Travis Bradberry in Forbes titled “12 Habits of Genuine People.” You can read the previous post here.

Here is his list of 12:

  1. They don’t try to make people like them.
  2. They don’t pass judgment.
  3. They forge their own paths.
  4. They are generous.
  5. They treat everyone with respect.
  6. They aren’t motivated by material things.
  7. They are Trustworthy.
  8. They are thick-skinned.
  9. They put away their phones.
  10. They aren’t driven by ego.
  11. They aren’t hypocrites.
  12. They don’t brag.

In this blog, I would like to consolidate points 4 and 6.

Generous and not motivated by material things.

For several years I have been using Aristotle’s framework of the pursuit of happiness to talk about leadership and team building.

Aristotle concluded that what makes us uniquely human is our pursuit of happiness. No other animal gets up in the morning trying to figure out what will make them happy. Our forefathers thought this concept was so important that they included it in the opening paragraph of our Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Psychology Today says that Aristotle was discovering “the best way to lead our lives and give it meaning.”

Aristotle defines four levels in our pursuit of happiness. While there is a progression from levels 1 to 4 in our pursuit of a meaningful life, it is also obvious that we’re constantly cycling through the levels, never leaving any one of them entirely behind. But, Aristotle does tell us that at any point in time, one of the four levels will identify our dominant pursuit of happiness at the moment.

Level One: Sensual, maximum pleasure, minimum pain. Searching for happiness through our senses; sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.

Level Two: Ego and pride. Winning, achieving, producing, being the top dog.

Level Three: Beatitudes. Blessing others

Level four: Sublime Beatitudes. Accomplishing great things together.

Level Two, our ego and pride are the toughest one to overcome and move on to the Blessings. We’re hard-wired to function at the first two levels. It takes discipline, understanding and need for personal growth to move towards “the best way to lead our lives and give it meaning.”

Being generous and not being motivated by material things is the result of moving from level two to level three happiness.

Genuine people live predominately in pursuit of happiness at level 3.

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