Billionaire or Broke: Think Good, Speak Good, and DO Good

Contribution Purpose Respect


Key Point: ACTIVATE is a powerful word. I ask people at all levels and positions what really makes them happy at work. Is it feeling valued? Purpose driven? Engaged? It almost always ends up in the beautiful bucket of providing value to others. It rarely comes down to something related to how rich, smart, or thin we are, etc. I find it so interesting that Shari Arison, one of the wealthiest people in the world, has a message about becoming rich that has little if anything to do with making money. Arison’s motto, as captured in her new book Activate Your Goodness is: “Think good, speak good, do good.” It is deceptively simple. It also really connects with the motto of The Character Triangle: Do it now, be nice, give more.

I recently talked to a number of people in our customer call center who are like you and me, everyday workers, and certainly not billionaires. And when I asked them what makes them happy or engaged at work, their responses tended to fall into this obvious yet remarkable container of doing good.

If we choose to concentrate on good thoughts, communicate positively with others and act out our goodness by doing deeds for the benefit of others, each one of us becomes transformed from the INSIDE. When we do it now, act nice and give more, we become driven by the power of goodness, and extraordinary things happen. Like Ms. Arison states, “Think good, speak good, and do good is a life changing motto. It can lead us on a personal journey, filled with opportunities to connect and activate our own goodness. This immediately resonates outwards touching all aspects of life, creating positive change along its path.”

My last blog introduced you to Wharton’s Adam Grant, whose research quantitatively endorses the benefit of giving. This blog is more qualitative-based on the everyday wisdom that comes from what people in all walks of life report. So what gets in the way of more progress relative to goodness? If the recipe is simple why does it seem so elusive?

Character Moves:

  1. I think the breakthrough for more progress is in the word “ACTIVATE.” Although goodness is important in both thought and words, we ultimately have to DO, in order to complete the trifecta. What is your activate button?
  2. See the cartoon attached. Awareness about the benefit of goodness is NOT by itself the key to doing something. In fact research tells us that our normal default “button” is to do nothing after becoming aware. So each of us has to overcome the fear related to inertia, and put ourselves out in the world of “DO!”
  3. After you read this blog, however small the act, get up and activate goodness.

Think, say, DO good in The Triangle,