The word “rich” can be defined as possessing great material wealth. It can also be defined as that which is abundant, meaningful, and significant. What kind of wealth do you desire the most? Do you want to experience a life of riches or a rich life? The answer is critical to integrating money with other aspects of your life and finding happiness.
In Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, bestselling author Daniel Pink presents research in human motivation and explores how individuals establish and pursue goals. His review led him to conclude that “satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals.” Pink learned that everyone can dramatically increase their rate of success by first determining a meaningful and internally motivated “why” for each goal pursuit.
For evidence, Pink points to a myriad of studies based on Self-Determination Theory (SDT)―a model of human motivation concerned with supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways. According to this widely accepted model, goal pursuit and attainment are highly influenced by the degree to which people can satisfy their basic psychological needs as they pursue and attain their valued outcomes. These studies showed that individuals with purpose-based goals experience higher levels of satisfaction and well-being and reported lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Pink summarized the conclusions of the researchers in this way: “Even when we do get what we want, it’s not always what we need.” In fact, these studies revealed that what we really need is a sense of purpose. Therefore, taking time to evaluate your pursuits, based on this essential psychological need, will increase your awareness of the “why” that underlies your aspirations. This will also form a strong emotional connection to your goals and strengthen your commitment to stay on course to achieving them.
While money can provide more avenues for achieving your most cherished goals, financial resources alone cannot produce the essential ingredients of a rich and rewarding life such as happiness, good health, loving relationships, and meaningful activities.