Journal Entry: Matthew Olinger-10/13/2023

Journal Entry

The combination of resentment and greed can create a potent and often destructive motivational force that led me to seize opportunities and rationalize my actions. Resentment festers when one feels wronged or envious of others’ success, while greed represents an insatiable desire for more. Together, these emotions led me to a toxic mindset where I justified unethical or questionable behavior.
Resentment often stems from a sense of injustice or inequality. When I perceived that I was missing out on incentives for the work I was contributing to the company I worked for, the resentment began to grow, eventually turning into a powerful motivator. I was routinely surpassing company goals and was given larger growth targets than my counterparts. Each time I would figure out a way to meet and surpass these goals. When the company made poor strategic decisions and faced external challenges that limited incentives and promotion opportunities my frustration and resentment began to grow. This sense of being slighted made me more prone to seizing opportunities I might otherwise have dismissed. Resentment fueled my desire for retribution, for a chance to level the playing field, and an opportunity became a means of getting back at those who wronged me.

When my resentment began to rise due to a growing number of challenges at work, I should have considered other options and entertained the idea of leaving the company. However, with financial obligations and a growing family to support I felt trapped. I did not handle this situation well and continued moving forward with my career. This sense of feeling trapped was also accompanied by several challenges in my personal life and the loss of my mother and father-in-law who I was very close to.

My resentment was quickly met with my greed and sense of entitlement. My unbridled hunger for material wealth moved forward with little resistance. When I found myself consumed by greed, I was willing to go to great lengths to acquire more, regardless of the moral or ethical implications. I had contributed so much to the company that I justified my behavior. My insatiable appetite blinded me to the potential consequences of my actions, as I believed that my desires were paramount and justified any means of obtaining them.

The combination of resentment and greed was particularly dangerous because it clouded my judgment and led to the rationalization of morally questionable actions. When I felt resentful and greedy, I convinced myself that seizing an opportunity is not only justified but also necessary for my well-being. This rationalization often involved distorting the facts or manipulating my moral compass to make my actions seem acceptable.

For example, toward the end of my employment, the team that I managed was given a significantly larger sales target than all the other teams that I worked with within our division. My team was taken advantage of because we had always delivered results in the past where other teams had struggled. We were also given fewer resources than the other teams to accomplish the goal. My team had also just finished a sales year where were one of the top-producing sales teams. This scenario seemed impossible, and it created a great deal of stress. As I digested the situation, I began to look for ways to accomplish the goals. After some time, I began to consider options that would push the boundaries of company compliance. I ended up justifying questionable business decisions because in my mind the result would justify any means possible. This combination of emotions led to several decisions that led to the growth of the business but were out of compliance.

Furthermore, societal norms and company culture influenced and exacerbated my rationalization process. In a society that sometimes celebrates success at any cost, I felt that I was merely playing by the rules, even when some of the rules and company culture were deeply unethical. My decisions had been routinely approved and supported by the company. However, toward the end of my career, I found myself on the wrong side of the table looking back at several decisions that despite being approved were difficult to explain. Looking back my pursuit of success, especially financial success, was glorified, making it easier for me to be driven by greed and resentment to rationalize my actions.

Psychologically, my mind would often seek ways to reduce cognitive dissonance, the discomfort that arises from holding conflicting beliefs or values. When I was consumed by resentment and greed, I rationalized my actions to alleviate this dissonance. I told myself that I was merely getting what I deserved or that my actions were justified in the grand scheme of things.

Unfortunately, the consequences of this rationalization of my actions were severe, leading to damage to my relationships, my reputation, and legal consequences. This toxic combination drove me to commit fraud believing that the ends justify the means.

In conclusion, the fusion of resentment and greed can be a potent force, motivating individuals to seize opportunities and rationalize their actions. This combination, fueled by a sense of injustice and an insatiable desire for more, led to my distorted moral compass and a willingness to engage in unethical behavior. Understanding this dynamic is essential for individuals to guard against the potential negative consequences of these powerful emotions and motivations. It is crucial to recognize when these emotions are at play and strive to make ethical decisions that align with one’s values and principles, even in the face of resentment and greed.