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The Business Lessons of Literature: Part Two

I’ve identified a new psychological phenomenon. I’ve called it The Gatsby Syndrome. Because we just can’t get enough abbreviations, I refer to it as TGS. I’ve created a foundation through which to study it. I’m going to try to get the phenomenon listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, of course). And I’m going to get absurdly famous and obscenely wealthy because of it.

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The Business Lessons of Literature

What’s TGS? Well, since you asked, it’s the condition by which we’re unable to discern dreams from obsessions.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking such inability is a clear manifestation of Urbach-Wiethe disease. It’s not a bad supposition. But here’s the difference: Urbach-Wiethe sufferers have a physiological inability to experience fear because their amygdalas have been compromised by a genetic disorder. Obsessives suffer from a psychological inability to experience fear because their capacities to learn from their own experiences have been compromised by a preoccupation with ersatz goals.

Symptomatically, TGS manifests in a number of ways. It presents in the refusal to acknowledge reality, to consider more than one way of doing something, to recognize there are — let alone to contemplate the possibility of — alternatives, to respect and heed the counsel of others, to make course corrections when circumstances indicate their need. In extreme cases, TGS compels those who contract it to go down with ships that needn’t have been scuttled.

As you might guess, TGS is yet another business lesson to be derived from literature, taking its name, as it does, from The Great Gatsby, in which F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote unforgettably:

“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”

Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.

To make your tax-deductible contribution to the TGS Foundation, please visit www.rightmakesright.org. To contribute by phone, please call 1-800-JAY-GATZ. But hurry. This dream may soon become an obsession.

In the meantime, beware of your enchanted objects.

Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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