The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, April 27, 2003
Lead Article

Motivation makes mega bucks
I. M. Soni

Illustration by Sandeep JoshiSUCCESS comes from generous amounts of imagination, patience, and tenacity ó and, above all, hard work. To these may be added a steely determination not to fail. Admirable as these virtues are, there must be more to dazzling success than this, especially in the case of those who make millions.

Had this been all, then why doesnít every imaginative, determined, patient, tenacious man of soaring ambition and ability get the same phenomenal success? Why donít we have more Ambanis, Tatas and Birlas? Why do many sweat and slog and yet canít make even a million?

Obviously, there is more to making money than we think. Certainly, there is more to it than networking with the right people or being on the right side of the wrong people.

There is an intangible something else. It is motivation. It spells the difference between success and failure and, more importantly, between outstanding and moderate success.

Napoleon Hill studied the careers of 25,000 outstanding successes, wrote a book about his findings Think and Grow Rich and declared that to make really big money one must crave wealth "with a state of mind that becomes an obsession."

Research in emotional significance of money and success has revealed "there is no voluntary decision involved" in the making of such a man who searches restlessly for "more and more money, fame, power."


Alfred Adler has called it "the masculine goal." A person is driven not by a need for more money but by a need to prove himself.

A man, for example, who lacks height, strives for greater "stature," both physically and financially.

The primary motivation is unconscious and from this unconscious need is derived the never-ending search for money that focuses on a fixation. I prefer to put it like this: It is not a manís occupation that makes money; itís his preoccupation with it.

Distractions, digressions, compromises, considerations that dilute the drive to success are mercilessly rubbished. There is a need for one to inflate the ego to guard against feelings of insignificance, smallness or some haunting sense of inadequacy.

The late Nizam of Hyderabad was a known penny - pincher. He would not give more than a Rs 500 monthly allowance to one of his wives.

Cornelius Vanderbilt is said to have haggled over pennies. "I canít afford champagne," he used to say. "Soda wateríll do." He wanted to become the richest man in the world. All else was subordinated to this burning desire.

Every step to the goal fortifies the ego; every failure is a spur to new and greater effort. All efforts are called into action to attain the goal.

The money-mower never loses sight of his objective. That is why he gives his all to the chase. Money is his quarry and he delights in chasing it.

There is also a thrill in the uncertainty in the chase for bigger money. Without that element of uncertainty, the greatest triumph is dull, and unsatisfying.

The seeker of big money is tantalised by every success to bigness. He is driven not by greed but by a need that is never satisfied. The way Don Juan conquered women, the money - seeker collects triumphs.

The real secret of making money is to love the making of it, not the money itself. The scramble for gold is motivated by the thrill of the attempt to catch the pot, the quest for it, not for the contents of the pot itself.

Money is, however, not the be all and end all of life. "Where wealth accumulates, men decay," as we are witnessing in our society today. A good society is one where people are more concerned with the quality of their goal than the quantity of their gold.