Why We Want Money
Why do we desire money? Is it because we’re greedy and selfish SOBs?
Maybe. But where does that greed come from? Where does the desire to accumulate “stuff” that others currently possess come from?
Whether that stuff is paper currency, gold, silver, livestock, favors, gifts, physical goods, or (the most precious commodity of all) time.
I have a strong feeling that it comes, on a deep psychological level, from our need to be accepted by our fellow humans.
Think about it: what is money? What are commodities or services or gifts? They are stores of value. When someone gives these things to us, it means that we have value to them. Whether as a friend, a competent service provider, a leader, a doctor, or a soldier.
We give someone value because we get value from them.
The reason greed can be addictive is not because of the material objects money can buy. It’s what those objects represent, what that money represents, to the subconscious mind.
It signifies that “the community has judged me or my work/ ideas/ contribution as valuable.” And community acceptance is the highest good to the primal brain, after survival and reproduction.
In fact, acceptance from others is so important to us that in ancient times exile was often considered a punishment worse than death. Even in death, if we are still part of the community, it feels preferable to banishment from everyone and everything we know and love.
Acceptance and connection is also the likely reason why we desire sex.
I think the most successful business people know this, either intuitively or through experience.
The more we desire money and everything that money can buy, the more we want to be valued by others.
This desire can signal a deep insecurity and inner discomfort (something I have seen a lot of in the personal growth world).
But it can also be a gateway into creating massive value for others, in the form of products and services that solve their problems and make their lives better.