People are often driven to do something. Motivation is extremely important in encouraging actions. In the 21st century, money is still often seen as the key driver. And so, in a past Better Business Brunch about the Philippine Economy organized by New Leaf Ventures, the participants were asked what they would do if they had UNLIMITED MONEY. I had the opportunity to aggregate and process their answers.
The results are as follows:
In interpreting these results, much like any other survey, it is important to know the background of those who answered it. As we go through this analysis, please keep in mind that the participants were mostly mid-level supervisory employees and business people.
Now, moving on, these results validated what Economic theory expects:
People are motivated by their self-interests but not necessarily by selfish interests.
Self-interests here may mean anything that motivates people. Being happy by giving up what you have for others is an example of being motivated by self-interest. This is also true with working hard for ones’ self. Anything that can make one happy is his/her source of motivation.
THIS MAKES SELF-INTEREST A SOURCE OF UNLIMITED MOTIVATION.
Our short survey reveals that most of the participants were people who are motivated to have more, so that they can share more. They believe that the best route to share is through education — something that has been imparted to them and that they deem valuable.
The second motivating factor is reward for self. Drilling down further would reveal that travelling around the world is what they consider as the best form of reward. Still, this points to people’s desire for learning. Travel is a good teacher. I believe that one week of productive travel abroad can compensate for one semester of learning in a university.
The third group of answers goes further than giving to others, as it entails employing and creating opportunities. This group desires to impact the world by building on people’s education – they know that being employed, for most, develops various skills and know-how. Over time, as the economy matures and people have higher incomes, I will not be surprised if a re-run of this short survey will reveal more people wanting to create businesses for the long run.
Finally, the last group of answers reveals a desire to help the government in its quest to improve infrastructure. This validates the need to expand current efforts to improve various infrastructures, such as roads, bridges, transportation and communication, as well as people’s willingness to share their resources to make it happen.
In sum, this gives us an idea of how motivation is directly influenced by having the right information at hand.
Dr. Alvin Ang is an Economist and Responsible Personal Finance Advocate
Connect with Dr. Ang on Twitter
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