People Want Praise & Satisfaction Rather Than Money

There are two things people want more than money, praise, and satisfaction. Human nature is very complex. There are many things that naturally appeal us but we are unaware of the reasons behind it. For example, our love for blood relatives, the urge to eat and need of attention cannot be explained in a logical scientific way. Some of our desires surpass others i.e. not every desire is equal in scale. Every rational human being wants to make more and more money as it fulfills one’s physical needs.

However, our spiritual needs are usually more important than our physical needs. Dale Carnegie writes in his book “How to win friends and influence people” that the ultimate desire of human being is to be felt important. (30)  We all know that praise and recognition are the best ways using which we acknowledge the importance of someone or the import role they may have played in our lives or business. That is why, I believe that the praise and recognition are more important than the money for human beings.


If we study the life of multimillionaires, we find out that despite having a peaceful life, cozy bedroom and enough money in their bank accounts, they cannot sleep at night? Even though all of their physical needs are already met they still feel that something is missing in their lives. They do not feel satisfied with their lives. All of us at some point in our lives go through these feelings of discontentment (the scale could be variable indeed). There could be multiple reasons behind this feeling of dissatisfaction like bad relationships, over thinking etc. But in any case, if one helps someone or achieves something important or scores good in a semester or does anything that results in one being praised and recognized, one feels very satisfied and relieved.

This makes the situation quite self-explanatory that the money is not the solution to all problems and it is not the most important thing and some other things might be more satiating. I think praise and recognition are those important factors that surpass money. Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, in their book, “The Power of Praise and Recognition” have discussed that those individuals who receive regular recognition and praise, would have better individual productivity, improved engagement level with their colleagues, more likely to stay long-term with their organization, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, usually have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.


Since humans (and animals alike) have always evolved and improved themselves for the things they actually like and what they feel is important for their living. The fact that the workers at their work places evolved (improved their performance) more when they were praised and recognized than the monetary incentives, is a clear indication that praise and recognition are more important than the money.

It is commonly said that man is a social animal because humans cannot survive without interacting with their fellow beings. When humans interact with each other as they live/make a society, factors such as their financial status, reputation and ability to communicate help define their status in that society. In my opinion, the most important factor of these all is reputation which is very closely linked (or actually a proxy) to praise and recognition. A good reputation makes a person loved and respected   and can earn him support and help at the time of need. That is why it is normally said that a bad name is worse than bad deeds as a bad name spoils a person’s reputation and destroys his social network – making it almost impossible for the person to earn any social benefits.


On the other hand, money can never help you earn a good name. Even in a business world where the basic aim of someone’s job is to earn money, reputation and recognition play the major role. A bad reputation can even make you lose all the money you have earned but if you have a good reputation and praised and recognized in your society, you can eventually earn money. In short, praise and recognition can make you earn money but the reverse cannot be true. William C. Fulsipers writes in his article The Value of Good Name that a business man’s balance sheet usually lists two kinds of assets: tangible or quick assets, and intangible or those assets that cannot so readily be turned into cash. Intangible assets are, as we know, the most valuable possessions of an individual or business. (1)

Muhammad is a well-known player of Pakistan. He had a very poor financial status and used to live in a mud house in a village before coming in this field but once he was recognized for his skills, he has become one of the most paid cricketers of Pakistan. Once he was proven guilty of match fixing. In a bid to regain his status, he apologized and give up all the money that he had gotten through that match fixing deal along with the surcharges. He did that mainly because he wanted his reputation back. This clearly indicates the importance of reputation and recognition in comparison to money.


It is commonly said, “out of sight, out of mind”. The human brain is wired in such a way that it forgets certain things and information if it is not reminded of them again and again. Memories fade and people are forgotten with the passage of time. But those who have made a substantial positive impact on the lives of others, are remembered and make their place in the hearts of their fellow beings. How would anyone know that he has done something worthy of being remembered? Praise and recognition are clear indication that others remember him/her in their hearts. That is why humans love to be praised and recognized. On the other hand, money is temporary. It can only be in possession of a human being as long as he is alive. The only thing that can stay with one eternally is the recognition and pride.

Humans, however, can use their money to make a positive impact on the lives of others and hence can be recognized eternally. In which case, the money (something mortal and short-lived) would actually act just as a means to an end result, recognition and praise (something that is immortal and long-lived). Humans have always preferred immortal over mortal and hence praise and recognition are more important than the money. Noble prize and Oscars are given to those who have done something extra ordinary in their particular field. What are these awards actually representing? A symbol of recognition and achievement. Receiving such an award is a huge accomplishment in one’s lives something they may not want to replace with money.


Although there seems to be a lot of valid reasons to say that humans desire to praise and recognition more than money some people might say that money is a mean of fulfilling basic human needs like food and clothing and those things are ultimately more important as humans cannot survive without them. But they actually do not realize that a human is not just his body. He is his body along with his soul. The real human personality lies within his soul and consciousness, not his body. As food and clothing are basic needs for the body, similarly praise and recognition are basic necessities for the human soul. One’s soul is, of course, more important than one’s body.

Without taking into account the spiritual needs of humans, there would be no difference between a man and an animal. Everyone would agree that a life like an animal is not even worth living. There is another group that makes an argument that people want recognition and praise just because it eventually helps them get money, and ultimately wealth and money is more important to humans. This group should please consider hundreds of human beings who have worked selflessly and tirelessly without any demand for money and monetary benefits. I would give the example of Abdul Satar Edhi who spent even his own money and assets in the cause of helping others and never demanded anything in return and led a very simple life.

praise, satisfaction
For them praise & satisfaction is everything.

In a nut shell, it can be safely concluded that humans need money for their survival and to fulfill their basic needs but they are more inclined towards praise and recognition because it is something humans consider more important – a spiritual need for their souls. Money can earn temporary pleasure and satisfaction but it cannot help satisfy the permanent human urge to feel praised and recognized. Gaining praise and recognition is the only way to give human beings what they actually want and it can help them to be remembered not only during their life time but also after death. Therefore, praise and recognition is a way of spiritual satisfaction, are needed more by humans than money.


Dale Carnegie. “How to Win Friends and Influence.” (2013): 213. Web.

PULSIFER, WILLIAM C. “THE VALUE OF A GOOD NAME.” The Journal of Education, vol.                  82, no. 14 (2050), 1915, pp. 374–374.,

Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton “The Power of Praise and Recognition”.  Galup. 8 July 2006.Web.13 March 2017.

Featured Image Credits: Stock Snap

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