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Life and monopoly

“Money is the most important motivation in today’s world”

Earlier this month, I took a brief course on Economics. I vividly remember that on the first day, when the professor explained the history of the subject as a whole, he framed his statements in a way that stuck in my mind. He said, “People realized that the most important thing, the concept most sought after, was happiness. However, there were infinite limitations – health, time, family, and the list went on. The most important one was, and continues to be, money. At the end of the day, everything, happiness included, boils down to money, and this is what led to the birth of economics.” Having analyzed this statement from as many angles as I possibly could, I wholeheartedly agree. Money is the most important motivation in today’s world.

Each and every constraint that there is to happiness can be alleviated, or at least lessened by money. We might be doing things because they give us satisfaction, but to be able to do these things in the first place, we need money. Once upon a time, our biggest motivator may have been happiness, but it has shifted. We naturally associate money with happiness. Our basic needs can be fulfilled only with money. This makes us sound like shallow, materialistic beings, but the truth is undeniable. Money is everything to us.

Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs has given us a graphical representation of our requirements in the form of a pyramid. At the base, there are physiological needs like food, water excretion, i.e. our ‘basic’ sustenance. The next tier represents security- shelter and safety. It is after all these needs are met that we can afford to need more abstract concepts, like family, relationships, love, and the like. This is an accurate representation of the human mind. Only once we have the basic can the complex become attainable.

For some real-life examples, we could observe a student’s life. The student studies to get good marks, which will facilitate higher education of his or her choice, which will then lead to a job that he or she will enjoy. Only if someone is happy with their career will they be able to earn money, which will go towards fulfilling their basic needs. The short term goals may be good marks and a good quality education, but in the long run, these are the things which will give us the money we need to live a ‘happy life’. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it makes unhappiness more comfortable, and the road to happiness much smoother.

In today’s world, quality of life is extremely important. Your happiness depends upon your comfort, the people you surround yourself with, and the satisfaction that comes from simply living your life. One of the most important aspects of comfort is health. Unless you are physically and mentally healthy, happiness is very difficult to achieve. Health and its maintenance require money, often large sums of it. Another aspect, the people you associate yourself with, also has a subtle, but certain link to the amount of money you can spend. Attending an institute where you may find like-minded people isn’t always easy to pay for. If you want to stay with your family, you need to pay the price of living so. If you wish to distance yourself from family, you need money to leave with. To enjoy luxuries, you must work to earn the money that will buy them. Even transportation demands money!

Money takes us everywhere. It has become the most coveted asset of all. Once you have it, you only want more. We need it, we desire it, and we cannot survive for long without it. Money can bring us respect, fame and power. Most of all, it grants us the freedom to do as we please. What better motivator could possibly exist? Clearly, it is the most important motivation in today’s world.

The desire for all that the world holds is an extremely strong one. The desire for the means to this end is even stronger. Money can drive people do do nearly anything. The human brain is wired to seek rewards, and money, most of all. How many of us have changed our minds about doing something once we discover that we can make money out of it?All in all, money is a powerful motivator. It is the key factor in our individual pursuits of happiness, and has come to mean so much to us, that our cravings for happiness have been replaced by a greater, far greater craving for money.

Whether it’s ‘cash’, ‘dough’, dollars, rupees or euros, money truly makes the world go round.

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