How the Difference Between Needs and Happiness Should Influence Your Money Decisions
“Man is the only animal that blushes – or needs to.”
When I was a kid, my parents used to reward me for good grades. They would give me a dollar for every A I got on a report card. A dollar would buy four games of Pac-Man, so that was a good tradeoff, particularly if I got straight As. Pretty soon, others got into the act. Showbiz Pizza gave a bunch of tokens for each A that you had on your report card. Then, the Atlanta Braves gave you four free tickets to a home game if you had straight As. Granted, the Braves were terrible – this was in the mid-80s, mind you – and the tickets were up in some nosebleed section of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium (OK, they were actually two counties away, but if you had binoculars and a vivid imagination, you could pretend), but, hey as a kid, going to a baseball game was pretty darn cool.
As others upped the ante in the report card rewards game, my parents soon realized that they could not compete. More likely, they decided that they didn’t want to compete. I’d be asking to play goalkeeper for the Atlanta Chiefs soon (yes, this admission dates me).
Instead of offering rewards, they started changing the tone of the discussion about my grades. There would be no bribes for me to get good grades. Instead, they expected me to get good grades. It was non-negotiable. I needed to get good grades because that’s what I was supposed to do, and it would be crucial for me to get into a good college.
My parents were working to get me to change my motivation from expecting rewards to having internal and intrinsic motivation to get good grades. I wouldn’t get good grades because I expected something in return, but, rather, because I wanted to get good grades.
My parents were a lot smarter than I ever game them credit for when I was a teenager who knew it all.
They were, probably unknowingly (although my mother often claimed omniscience due to her dual professions as a “teacher and a mother”), overriding my Monkey Brain when it came to getting good grades.
Why Did Monkey Brain Want Me to Get Good Grades?
Did I type that correctly? Monkey Brain wanted me to get good grades? Isn’t Monkey Brain master of the realm of laziness? Surely good grades and laziness don’t go together.
If you thought that there had to be more to this story than met the eye, you were correct. Read on.
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Jason Hull is a Fort Worth fee only, hourly financial planner who serves clients in Fort Worth, TX and Dallas, TX as well as serving clients nationwide.
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Hull Financial Planning is a Fort Worth, fee-only hourly financial advisor. The cities we serve in the Dallas-Fort Worth area include:
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We also serve clients nationwide and can leverage technology to maintain our client contact and communication.
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