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Is it about money or a sense of achievement - a TED talk no one asked for ...

Caution: Too many questions to get your mind working.

How do you define a sense of achievement?

Is it the achievement of a set target or a goal? Is it helping and supporting your peers, co-workers, and teams? Or is it to stay motivated when things don't go your way?

What is your reward at the end of all this hard work?

Is it your hope to get a promotion, a raise in your paycheck, or is it a compliment from your manager that satisfies and measures your hard work?


As individuals paving our paths to our own goals, success is hard to pinpoint precisely where the ever-famous quote "Money can't buy happiness" actually fits in.

With a sense of achievement, there seems to be an indefinite inclination towards a monetary value. Is it that we work hard to achieve a good amount of money, or is money the reason you worked hard in the first place?

Even though it is a messy debate between did the chicken came first or the egg, money, and lifestyle go hand-in-hand. But how do you measure the quality of your life or sense of achievement?

If we speak in terms of money, more money leads to a life of comfort, but the factor of achievement seems to be un-entertained.

Another perspective is to have a lot of achievements but not a single recognition.

Workplace environments primarily run on the concept that it is about money, not an achievement; for some, it is about achievement and not money. If achievement and hard work is your goal and not money, then you should not get bothered, but then again, as an employee, you need some appreciation.

We all have some goal and a specific purpose that leads to one choice or the other. Knowing that if a monetary value is assigned to your task, you are motivated to work towards that raise in your compensation or get your promotion. Money can be a perfect motivator for your goals, thus leading to happiness.

Explaining the concept of leading to happiness, a study conducted in Germany published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life showed the difference between "Happiness Materialism" and "Success Materialism."

According to researchers, "Happiness Materialism" is the belief that wealth is the indicator of a happy life, whereas "Successful Materialism" is the idea that wealth signifies success and enhances people's economic motivation or drive to work and improve their standard of living.

Happiness materialism is highly inclined toward your positive contribution of money for your present life satisfaction, which demands much time and energy. It can be a little problematic. Because you are attaching happiness to affording certain items, thus making it all about money. Success materialism is thinking about individuals being more satisfied with their present lives and hopeful about the future, making this about a sense of achievement and not money.

According to an article from Harvard business review, ask yourself these three questions:

  • First, how can I be sure that I will be happy in my career?

  • Second, how can I ensure that my relationships with my spouse and family become an enduring source of happiness?

  • Third, how can I be sure I will stay out of jail?

These questions seem random, and the two are out of context, but place yourself in these questions for a while and think. If answered with reasoning, these questions can predict the quality of your life as it is true that not everything with a price tag can bring happiness. This includes family, friends, your health, continual learning, and new experiences.


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