Time Money Lifestyle
There are really only 3 basic desires that motivate anyone.
Sounds simple but once explained it all makes sense. If you therefore know which of the 3 motivate you, then you are part way towards achieving your goals of finding your passion and purpose.
If you are like me and you have trouble remembering how to spell words, it is very unlikely you will be able to succinctly recall and espouse Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation. At least not without a quick internet refresher! Whilst you may understand and appreciate their concepts, I like the idea of keeping it even more simple – time, money or lifestyle. We are motivated if we perceive our decision or action will either reduce pain or increase pleasure in at least one of these areas.
Yes, I can hear you thinking, that sounds simple but perhaps too simple? Surely the complex human operates on a more profound level? What about people who continue to work because they enjoy it rather than needing the income? I would propose that their enjoyment from working actually comes from the pleasure of spending time with others or immersing themselves in a lifestyle of their choosing. Lifestyle does not have to be all ‘beaches and pina coladas’, although they certainly feature heavily in my motives, it is the manner in which a person chooses to live. Perhaps maintaining a lifestyle or existence which is intellectually stimulating or provides them with opportunities to showcase their hard-earned talents may be more important than the money they make.
The other day I travelled by Uber to a meeting. It was raining outside and I did not relish the idea of catching slow public transport to then arrive wet and bedraggled at a client’s office. My motivations? Reduce the pain of time in the rain. Realisation that the pain of spending money on an Uber was more bearable than the client seeing my sorry state as a lack of earnings or foresight. A choice to have a more pleasurable lifestyle that involved more comfortable modes of transport. I acknowledge that I did not deliberately reflect on these elements at the time, but the quick resolution I made to get an Uber was the result. My motivations in that split-second decision – time, money and lifestyle.
As I rode in the Uber I had the opportunity to speak to my driver, an elderly man who had taken great care to provide several water bottles, a selection of different mints and magazines. That I noticed his vehicle smelt of apples delighted him no end. Here was a driver who obviously cared about his passengers and how he presented his service.
Curiosity getting the better of me, I asked him how he enjoyed driving an Uber. He declared that it was a wonderful opportunity to meet people like myself, and he had participated in some of the most stimulating discussions. He confessed he was not really doing it for the money anymore, as he had realised that by the time he had depreciated his vehicle and paid for petrol he was not earning as much as expected.
I wondered if he had also remembered to account for the water, mints and magazines?
Nevertheless, it got him out of the house, kept his ‘grey matter’ operating and made him still feel part of society. Not to mention that he now knew the latest trendy bars, what stocks were hot, where to find the best steak in town, and not to date ‘Dave’ from address unknown unless you wanted a lousy end to the evening.
My driver’s motivations were unique to him and had led to him discovering his current purpose and passion. I would bet that decades ago, during his previous life in manufacturing, driving a taxi would not have been high on his agenda. However, as his motivations had changed it was an understandable outcome.
Here lies the connection between the 3 desires – time, money and lifestyle – and finding your passion and purpose. Consider how you would want to reduce pain or increase pleasure in those 3 areas of time, money and lifestyle and it will help you on your path. When answering be honest with yourself. There is no point pretending that you don’t care about having a great car or latest TV just so you do not get perceived a certain way. Your motivations are what they are, so be true to them. The evolution of what motivates you is another topic completely!
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