In his book “Drive,” Daniel Pink summarizes three primary motivators of human behavior – and none of them is money. The first one is autonomy. We want to be able to have the freedom to do as we wish, the way we wish, and independence from needing anything from anybody.
The second motivator is mastery. Golfers know there’s only one reason to play the game: to get better. Otherwise, you would have to admit, it is a pretty strange game of hitting and chasing a ball. We all are driven to get better and better – and that includes becoming better human beings. We want to care more about others than ourselves.
The third and most important motivator is purpose. People want their lives to have purpose. Each of us wants to find meaning in our life on this earth. The desire to give and to make a difference is part of what makes us uniquely human, but people very often do so much less than they could. It is not because they want to do less. It is not because they don’t care. As we have explained, the single biggest reason people don’t do more is they honestly don’t believe that they can.
Somebody or something has instilled fear in them. They have a sense of uncertainty and a lack of clarity. Perhaps the fear came from having endured tough times. Or perhaps a financial consultant led them to believe they would run out of money if they didn’t play their cards just right. The message is that you need to save more, you need to invest more – and that may be the case, but often it is not.
We help people plan in a way that leaves them crystal clear as to what they can do. When they attain that confidence, they start getting in the game with a sense of purpose. Can you really manage your finances and plan your estate in a meaningful, thoughtful way if you think you are going to run out of money? You are left thinking: “What am I planning for? There might not even be anything left. Why should I put in all this time and effort to get into a complex conversation where I have to share all of my private information, humiliate myself by sharing my past mistakes, and then even have to talk about my own death? Who knows if anything of substance is even going to be left?”
When you have clarity and confidence that something indeed will be left – in many cases, something substantial – then you feel more motivated to plan. You begin to think about the possibilities you may have for more impactful living and giving.
When we speak about philanthropy in public venues, people nod their heads all across the room when asked whether they would like to do more for something they care about. Why aren’t they doing so? “I’ve been meaning to get around to it.” Or, “I’m not really sure about the best way to go about doing this.” Sometimes, they don’t really know. “I guess I’m nervous,” they may say, or “I’m worried.” It all points to that lack of confidence.
– excerpt from chapter 4
Download a chapter of the book at www.domorethatmatters.com
Ron Ware, J.D. and Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA are wealth impact strategists and personal legacy advisors who help individuals, families, and business owners enhance their financial standing while discovering a greater capacity to provide for their loved ones and support cherished charities. Contact Ron or Greg.