It’s not all about the money STUPID!

Bankers. Public enemy number 1. Most of them are well paid. However, for the vast majority of them, life inside is one very different experience. Its nothing but hard graft and extreme pressure with very high targets to be met and deals to be done. Fast cars, late night drinking, strippers, you name it, I’ve heard it all before. A complete myth of course, for to be successful in banking (and in any job for that matter), you need to be right on your game. For all their troubles,  some earn so much that they really don’t work, but still they choose to do it. Why?

To this extent you hear so much of bankers, lawyers and other professionals (including footballers) who get paid so much that why should they bother to really try; as if simply turning up to work was enough and that earning sometimes millions should be enough to be satisfied with life. Seems logical doesn’t it? I mean, we all desire money to enjoy a better lifestyle, go on holidays, buy that bigger house etc…There’s always that common saying, if only I earn this amount of money, I’d be happy etc… But is this really true? If I could earn this amount of money just by turning up to work, would I be fulfilled?

Take me for example: I earn a decent income I guess working in the City and statistically in the top 1% of the country. I live a comfortable life in London and enjoy great holidays and all that. I work in a prestigious financial institution. So on the face of it, I should be very content with what I have. However, I am not. I am not entirely satisfied. There are times when I really hate being in the office – the deals sometimes are so hard to relate to, the politics and games that are played and the often fruitless discussions about complex matters no-one really understands. It can often feel like I am wasting my precious time.

However on the face of it, because of the income I earn, I should be very content.  This is where the story gets turned on its head. Highly skilled individuals are not motivated by how much they earn, they earn so much because they ARE highly motivated.

In my own case, I would not say that I am highly paid, but I am motivated to a point that I want to achieve, succeed and the years of training and education I have had to receive (and endure) to earn this and the income I currently receive reflects this. Granted, I enjoy earning the money to pay for my ski holidays and all that, but if that were all that motivated me the case then I would be happy ALL the time at work (which I am clearly not). At the other end, when I am feeling refreshed, especially after exercise, I am very focussed and energised. I am able to channel my energies into doing thing productively and thinking about how I can succeed, rather than thinking about that pay check (or bonus) at the end of the day.

It goes further – why would those at the top of the house in any institution put themselves through so much when they earn SO much. They probably sleep 5 hours or so a night, they are chronically tired, jet lagged and having to perform ALL the time. Why do this to yourself when they’ve earnt enough money to live two or more life times??  The answer has to bye ambition and motivation.

I’m not necessarily saying that some of the motivation is well founded, however there is something that drives people to an extent (and to different levels) that makes us want to succeed, often at an enormous cost in terms of our time, family and health. Perhaps it’s a way of justifying our existence during our time on this planet, who knows… but I think at the end of the day, money is a secondary factor.

So there it is: question solved. We all love money but money alone is not the driving factor in life.  There are things inside us all that drives us that no car, house or bonus can change – passion for doing what you like or love doing.

YB

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