Money is such a powerful motivator. I see and meet many individuals that are extremely motivated to raise their pile of money. They will do whatever it takes. Work for days and nights. Remove interests and hobbies from their life to solely focus on the money. My question in all of this is why we have not discovered that same motivation when it comes to making a positive difference in the world for ourselves and others. Why have we not harnessed this strong desire to improve, move and create, but for the betterment of everyone. The way I see it – we have no problem at all with motivation. The problem is what we become motivated about.
Money, career and status are seemingly natural stimulants for movement – and such movement is also supported by the system. If you give your life to money – the system is going to reward you with luxury. However – if you give your life to a cause that is creating unconditional value for others the financial aspect is going to be a struggle. You will get very little to no support. Even established NGO:s have difficulty making it in the world. And it is easy to blame the system for this condition – however we must remember that we are the system. We, the people, the consumers, the business owners, we are the bricks of the wall – and it is our decisions that have an impact in the world. Thus – there is this built in resistance towards contributing our money/time/energy to an unconditional improvement of our reality – we tend to want to have something in return – we want to personally get something out of it. And for example – what does it matter to us if we help save a animal species? It does not positively impact our living conditions.
The solution as I see is to start looking beyond our own personal lives. We must learn to have a broader and more expansive perspective. If we define our life as more than only our own body and our own immediate environment – then it makes sense to contribute resources to other things and places. If our life is the life of everyone – and our well-being is the well-being of everyone – what excuses and justifications would we then have to continue hiding ourselves in our small bubble and continue pretending as if only our own personal life is of importance?
And by changing our outlook on life this way we will reap one great benefit. We will be able to let go of that constant churning experience and state of survival – that otherwise haunt our every moment – because there will be more to life than only ourselves. And this brings me to a quote by Lau Tzu:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
And furthermore – loving someone deeply makes you fearless. And is not this what most of us on a deep level really wants? We want to be at peace and content – with no fear and anxiety churning inside. Does not all of us want to have a substantial meaning and purpose and feel like we matter? And maybe that is also something many of us look for in career, money and status – we believe that by getting respect in the world system – we will be able to some day let go of our troubles and enjoy life. Too bad that it never gets to that point. The struggle goes on for a lifetime till we become too old to continue – and then – we eventually give up and hope that we will be able to rest in peace.
Consumerism and the desire to have more is but a symptom of our lack of substance – we try to fill the hole inside ourselves with superficial experiences – though it will not suffice. The way to tackle the problem is to actively start making changes in what we give priority – and here – money and motivation are two important aspects. We must learn to become masters of money instead of money mastering us – and learn to create and maintain motivation towards things that matter. And it does not happen by itself. Real movement takes effort and self-will – it is not something that just happens – and that is also why it is initially difficult. Though it is possible to get to the other side – where motivation becomes something we control and direct – and we take authority of our lives and start to make decisions as to what we want to do and who we want to be – and stop letting money make those decisions for us.
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