Love and careers are probably never as similar as when attempting to sacrifice long-term goals for short-term gain.
In this article I do not intend to condemn people who risk losing everything they have – reputation, family, friends – for one single pleasure. Instead, I will be looking at those on the other side – those who suffer for such an error.
- How do we understand someone who has stolen time from us?
- How is it possible for a rational adult not to think of the consequences of the deeds they are responsible for?
- How can we get over that inner remorse and bitterness, and try to find faith in another relationship?
New beginnings is a way of transforming the negative present into a positive future. Amongst other things, it is about how to cope with the loss of someone we completely trusted and to whom we sacrificed our past.
As I write in my book 250 Laws of Love, one who judges does not understand, and one who understands does not judge. I am not judging those who sacrifice everything for a single pleasure because I understand them. Many years ago, in the early days of my business, I too had the chance to instantly make a lot of money by deceiving someone who trusted me completely.
Believe me, it was a huge temptation. Common sense said: “Do it. After all, business is all about making a profit, even the Commercial Code says so! So it’s all right, isn’t it?”
I had no conscience. This knowledge was planted in my mind by someone I met who talked me out of that temptation. He said something I will never forget: ”Never give in to brief temptation. You may earn money, but you’ll lose your name. If you lose your name, then the money you earn might be your last and then you’ll never make such a sum again. If, on the other hand, you remain trustworthy, the same people will do business with you not just once, but every time. They’ll happily keep doing business with you. All in all, if it’s money you’re thinking about, you’ll earn far more than you would if you were to sell your entire future now.”
I was young but from that day on I stopped thinking in the short term. Pleasure is a fleeting thing. “There is nothing shorter than pleasure. Pleasure is the opposite of eternity,” said Miloš Kopecký. Building a successful relationship, whether at work or in a partnership, is a long-term thing – the opposite of a short-term temptation.
Enjoy yourself, you only live once…
In my life I have met many people who have literally sacrificed everything for a single tempting pleasure. They didn’t want to, but in just one night they lost their family, friends, children, credit, and future. They always used to say: “You only live once. Enjoy yourself. Put yourself first.”
However, because I’ll only live once, and because I want to enjoy life and put myself first, I cannot think in the short term.
Some say that God’s wheels grind slowly. This is not true. The coffee-grinders of life are not the gods, but we ourselves. Each of us grinds our own coffee. Those who grind it from coarse beans will drink it from coarse beans. We reap what we sow. This is not a divine law. It is a law of nature. It is so that negative actions cannot yield positive results. It is not possible in terms of energy.
And so, negative feelings give rise to negative thoughts. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions. And negative actions bring negative results. For someone to have a wonderful feeling about some positive results, they must first start with a positive thought. They must realise what they are doing and what the consequences will be.
Betraying another person is clearly a negative act, which also has negative consequences. Sometimes immediately, in the loss of a person we love. In a deserved loss, I might add.
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