Motivated by money?…or it is something else!? It is something else!

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What motivates you? What drives you? What is important to you? Are you motivated by money? As you move forward, what is it that you want most in life? Unfortunately, when we ask this question of so many young people in high school or post secondary, the answer we get most often is money. Flat out and as simple as that…MONEY and lots of it! In their view, money is the motivation. If I have money, I can buy anything I need. By having money, it provides me status so that people will know that I am someone of worth. So take for example, you are going to be paid well and for the rest of your life, you have to push a button that will package cigarettes. Sure there are machines that will do that but humour me here and every time you need to put cigarettes into a box, you have to push a button and you are required to produce a high rate and it is repetitive. You will do this for the rest of your life but they will pay you very well. How long could you sustain yourself in this job? Some could last a life time while many not too long. There were two factors I included here. One, an industry that many would have an issue with and two, having to do a mundane job for the rest of your life. Two factors that might impact your motivation.

Actually money is not the motivator. Money can be a temporary motivator but is not going to sustain your motivation in life. After a certain point, you will likely reduce your effort if the only satisfaction you receive is money. There has to be something more….but what is it? How about personal gratification? But as we all know, you can’t make get rich by pursuing your airy fairy dreams…or can you? If you pursue the money aspect, and not gratification, you are clouding your intended journey. People will create noise to say you can’t make money at something, it is not a viable industry or you will not achieve what you want. That is the noise, and if you listen to it, you will never accomplish what you were meant to do and you were meant to do great things.

Think back to a simpler time, when you were in primary school, our teachers asked us what we wanted to be and we innocently provided lofty ideas of being an author, a dancer, an astronaut, perhaps a doctor, a police officer, a teacher and so on. Money never factored in. Instead, it was something nobler about helping others, seeking amazing adventures or doing something interesting. Slowly, society provided us a mask of dollars and sense and our creativity slowly vanished to something that was more standard or safe. We replaced our dreams and adventures with dollars and comfort. As a result, sadly, there are paintings that will never be seen, poems that will never be heard and books that will never be read because someone said you can’t make money at it and it is not a good career so you stopped.

Alan Watts in his narration, ‘What would you do if money were no object’ and Sir Ken Robinson in his book, ‘The Element’ both stress the importance of pursuing your passion. If you do what comes natural to you and you enjoy it, you are going to get very good at it and people will pay you very good money. It makes total sense because it is what you greatly enjoy and are very good at. You will master your craft much quicker and easier than others because it is yours. So the money might not come right away and you will have people standing around telling you that you can’t make money but to stay the course will mean that the money will follow. Patience is key because if you pursue your passion and what you are good at, it is infectious and people will want to be a part of it because you speak about it with such vigor and enthusiasm. Look for those few people who believe in your journey and will share with you so you are not walking alone. You can be good at many things but you can only be great at a few. Pursue greatness because it is within you? Your personal story is not about how much money you will make but rather what you will do in life.

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