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What Do We Want More Than Money?

Have you ever asked yourself if money belongs where you have it on the priority list?

Money has an enormous cultural influence in our lives. It is a rare day that goes by without it passing through our minds, usually in terms of how we’d like to have more than we do.

It’s also true that much of what we believe about money – and who we are in relation to it, is so deeply ingrained that we rarely question it.

For example, most of us assume making more money will lead to greater happiness. Period.


Money Can Distract Us from the Treasure

In my alternate career as a fine artist, I found myself becoming less and less satisfied with doing the work in exchange for money. Since it has been my primary source of income for several years – this realization felt like somewhat of a problem. Like any good problem, the solution lies first in fully understanding what’s at the heart of it.

It is a commonly held perception that money is a key incentive that motivates high levels of performance. But there are other factors that compel us more strongly, and are mandatory for us to feel truly fulfilled and successful in our work. More importantly, the quest for money can greatly inhibit our performance – and mess with our happiness.

This talk given at the RSA by Daniel Pink gives some great insight into why money is not the incentive we might imagine:

Forget the Money and Bring More You

Turns out what really turns us on is being on purpose, expressing who we are, honing our skills, expanding what is possible for us to create in the world. Making a difference. If our primary focus is on getting the money, it is easy to lose our connection with this important truth and take a detour down the wrong road.

Even more interesting is the current trend in business to give value, lots of it, for free. Why? Because giving, of ourselves, of the value that we uniquely have to bring, is the best kind of getting there is. When we focus our energy there, on what amazing things we personally have to add to the mix, and get busy sharing that, it naturally leads to greater success, well being and abundance in our lives. There’s no way it can’t.

Good to ponder:

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” – Bernard Meltzer

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