A client of mine gave me a copy of a book called The High Price of Materialism. It’s written by a psychologist called Tim Kasser, and he spent many years studying the effects of “materialism” [money + stuff] on people and their wellbeing. His conclusion:

A strong focus on materialistic pursuits not only distracts people from experiences conducive to psychological growth and health, but signals a fundamental alienation from what is truly meaningful.

Here’s the BIG question you want to ask yourself: “What really motivates me?” Am I motivated by rewards and praise? By money? By rank? By constant affirmation? Or am I motivated by a deeper, more personal sense of accomplishment? By doing stuff that is an expression of who I am? By knowing that what I do matters?

Motivation is intrinsic, and workplace studies bear this out all the time. Salary is NEVER the top driver of employee engagement or satisfaction. Sure, we all need money to pay the bills. But money is not what makes us tick.

So, what are you going to choose, “Money or motivation?”. And it might be a bit of both, which is fine. As long as you don’t let your whole life be ruled by the money.

Here’s me making the point in a recent interview:

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Richard Sauerman
Richard Sauerman
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