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Trevor E. S. Smith | Exposing The Roots Of 'Bad Mind'

Published:Monday | September 11, 2017 | 12:00 AMTrevor Smith

Social media is abuzz with accusations of the dreaded disease - 'bad mind'. For me, bad mind is not wanting the best for others; the opposite of loving your neighbour as yourself. Bad mind tears down instead of build up, and is a cancerous mindset.

What are the roots of bad mind?




Scarcity is at the very core of bad mind. There is a shortage of a product, so you shop around to ensure that you have a year's supply without concern for others.

Scarcity tends to bring out the selfishness in us. The 'me first' mentality inspires a disregard for others, and views others as competitors. Winning trumps all other considerations.




Loyalty to a group or organisation is also at the root of bad mind. Why do we cheer when a rival team drops a baton in a relay?

Why do political loyalists celebrate when a member of the opposing party does something embarrassing?

Do we truly want the best for others from the wrong party, school, company, church or neighbourhood?




Jealousy and envy are key drivers of bad mind. Many new supervisors encounter a nightmare from colleagues who wanted their job. People begrudge others for their cars, homes, and even for their spouses.

Bad mind undermines instead of celebrates the success of others.




People tend to be guilty of bad mind because they refuse to identify and accept their own failings. They fail to make the team because of 'curry favour' or 'fight 'gainst'. They don't take responsibility for why they have not progressed. They resort instead, to developing a hostile attitude towards those who succeed.




Some people have bad mind because, despite their laziness and reluctance to develop themselves, they expect manna to fall in their lives. They are unhappy with what they have, and condemn those who seem to be better positioned.




Unfortunately, some people apparently need no trigger to be bitter, envious and hostile towards others. They are consistently toxic and do not fit well into society.




Bad mind takes up residence when an individual cannot appeal to moral values and relies solely on their feelings. The absence of a moral code and a call to a higher order leaves the door open for our base instincts to take over.


How to dispel bad mind





Despite the increasing bashing and rejection of religion, the appreciation of principles like 'loving your neighbour' and 'do everything in love', are critical in correcting bad mind. Being accountable to an authority outside of ourselves that calls us to put aside bad mind makes a difference.




Your outlook determines the impact of bad mind in your life. If you are optimistic and believe that opportunities will be available to you, then you are less likely to envy others or seek to undermine them.

If you accept that there is room for everyone to prosper, then reaching out to support others on their journey comes more naturally. Each person is encouraged to seek the best interest of others, and everyone benefits in return.

If you have good self-esteem and is confident about your abilities, then you are not prone to thinking that you can only advance if you tear down or impede others.

Consequently, it is critical that in our homes, schools, churches and organisations, that we focus on building self-esteem and encouraging personal development. Self-esteem is a powerful antidote to bad mind.

Our focus on mindset must include providing counselling and guidance to social misfits and toxic individuals.

Organisations and groups need to encourage their members to avoid a mindset that requires that they win at all cost. Healthy corporate citizenship should be reinforced in performance appraisals.

- Trevor E. S. Smith is a director of the Success with People Academy, home the SHRM-accredited certified behavioural coach award (now enrolling) and 3-D Team Leader Certification: Leading difficult, dominant and diverse personalities. The Success with People Academy applies DISCerning communication while improving recruitment & team performance. It prepares personal & team behavioural DNA analyses and 360 surveys on the revolutionary FinxS Platform from extended DISC.