How do YOU measure prosperity? This was one of the topics we discussed last weekend with a group of Enlightened Negotiators. And it was so apropo as yesterday was announced that this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Princeton professor Angus Deaton for his work on consumption, income and poverty. In one of his essays he wrote: Even if you have enough goods, they are worth little if you are not healthy to enjoy them.
We think of prosperity as synonymous with financial success, fortune, abundance, and growth. A prosperous world is a better world, since a community whose members grow and prosper is aligned with humankind’s true nature.The opposite end of the spectrum would be poverty, failure, loss, and decline. Though prosperity is often associated with money and material assets, we shouldn’t think of it narrowly.
We negotiate in order to succeed and enrich some area of our lives, whether it’s health, family, happiness, relationships, career, and knowledge— Enrichment through negotiation doesn’t necessarily mean a lucrative business deal. Western developed cultures emphasizes the economics of prosperity, whereas in the Eastern traditions, collective and spiritual notions of prosperity are embraced.
The outcome of a negotiation should be measured by enrichment of our overall purposes and principles. As enlightened negotiators we should think of prosperity broadly and look beyond the outcome to its effects. Would we consider monetary alone a successful outcome, if it also takes a significant toll on our health and family? Would launching a successful career be worth losing valued relationships? How do we measure a success? Despite the fact that we could pursue abundance in one, or in a few of these areas, the wise and intelligent approach to measuring prosperity is balanced abundance.
When prosperity becomes associated with mere opulence, we cross a line into acquisitiveness beyond our real needs. A greedy or gluttonous measure of success takes over, a devouring hunger for things that never satisfy.
Walt Baptiste, who often talked about manifesting prosperity, always added the words “sufficient unto the need.” It is this awareness that protects us from egotistic desire for more and more, and from being disconnected from our true nature.
Enlightened Negotiation is a pathway to a world that works for everyone. Please visit my website to find upcoming trainings and where you can purchase my book at www.enlightenednegotiation.com