The Funny Motivation Called Money



“When money is not visible, all is fair. When money begin to be seen, things that were fair before suddenly become unfair.”


According to Maslow, generally there are two types of motivator; deficiency motivator or growth motivator. Maslow applied this in in relations to his theory of Hierarchy of Needs. I am convinced the type motivator goes beyond just needs.


A deficiency motivator is something that gets us motivated to be in action because we have a deficit of something. We thrive to achieve it because we want to make it full. It is something that is there and we NEED it.


A growth motivator is something that makes us motivated to be in action because we want something. It is not that we lack it or have a deficit but it is something that will make us feel good about our self. This is for things that are not vital to your survival but nice for your well-being.


The deficiency motivator comes from a NEED of something while a growth motivator comes from a WANT of something. The deficiency motivator cease to exist once we have fulfilled the deficiency. However, a growth motivator doesn’t cease because it is perpetual due to the ambiguity of the level of fulfilment.


The example of a deficiency motivator will be food and security while the example for growth motivator will be knowledge and aesthetics.


Once we have fulfilled the basic deficiencies, we stop being motivated by the deficiency motivators. And only then will we be influenced by growth motivators. However, this is not automatic. The effect of the growth motivator is dormant if the deficiency motivator is present. However, just because deficiency motivator is missing, it doesn’t mean we will be tempted by the growth motivator. The prerequisite for the growth motivator to kick in is by fulfilment of the deficiency motivator.


Here is where we can manipulate our motivation. By the way, the use of the word manipulate is somewhat has been tarnished with the essence of negativity. If we were to look up the word manipulate, we are given meaning and only half of the 2nd meaning has a negative connotation. I wonder how many more words that we use now that carries a negative connotation when in actual fact it is not so.


If we are able to make our WANT into a NEED, we can then create motivation!


This is a well-known strategy that has been used successfully in many industry. Human sense of consumerism is based on this. Advertisement and marketing strategy to increase sales is founded on this very premise. If others can make it so for us, therefore, we can make it so for us as well! That is the good news.


We can deliberately re-program our self to not fall into the consumerism trap by making our others WANTS into NEEDS that empower us to not fall into the trap called money and consumerism.

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