Do you know what you really want?

It is widely accepted that motivation is necessary for success. To succeed, though, we need a clear understanding of what motivates us.

Ask any passing person in the mall what motivates them and you will probably get an answer that varies from, “I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it,” to, “I’m just trying to make ends meet to pay the bills and survive.” Occasionally you will come across someone who says, “I’m working toward becoming financially successful,” and someone who says, “I don’t care about material wealth. I just love helping others.”

What would your answer be?

I have come to understand what motivates just about every person:  a desire to advance, increase or improve their current situation in some way or another – a desire for more or better. Because of this deep desire, we, as a human race, have collectively come up with ways to do things better, smarter and more effectively. That is what has caused people never to be satisfied with things as they are. And that’s a wonderful quality!

This is what explains why people (a South African being one of them) are right now trying to find a way to make space travel more accessible and affordable to the general public and not something reserved for highly trained and physically fit astronauts.

Of course, more and better are different things to different people. To many, more and better is viewed in terms of money (only). Such people chase financial success in the mistaken belief that, once they have arrived there, they will be happy. The tragedy is that too many people have travelled that road for years only to discover when they reached their destination that there was neither happiness nor fulfilment waiting for them. There was just lots of money. And money can’t buy love, happiness, fulfilment or meaning. It buys convenience, physical comfort, physical (and not necessarily emotional) security and such things.

Money is a very important factor in life, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s the ONLY important factor.

What is “more” and “better” to you? Sure, money may be close to the top of your list, but could I encourage you to include a lot more on that list? What about more or better relationships? If you have no-one to share and/or enjoy your money with, you will be a lonely, miserable millionaire. Work, therefore, at building more and better relationships with your partner, your children, your family and your friends.

What about your health? If you have R100 million to your name but can’t get out of bed, what use is your money to you? Focus on taking care of your health so that you are physically and emotionally well enough to enjoy more and better in other areas of your life.

What about your spirituality? That goes far wider than just your religious beliefs, if you have any. It speaks to your purpose on the planet, to the meaning of YOUR life. Find out what the more and better are in this key area of your life and you will find inner peace, meaning, purpose and fulfilment.

Yes, we all want more and better – be clear about what that more and better are. Discover what your more and better are and then live in a way that brings those to fulfilment!

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine,, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.

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