There are groups of people who find different things of value. One chases the title. The other chases for more money. Again another group is chasing freedom and leisure time.
This is something where different generations have different answers. As I notice with the millennials who statistically speaking seek out more freedom and leisure time. But 50 years ago, it was super important to be a Doctore or similar.
I think it highly depends to question all this for yourself. Decide what is important to you. What are you willing to work towards. And then take steps to achieve that lifestyle.
If I understand your current question correctly you're asking about desire towards vs impact of financial reward related to work.
If you look at Herzberg's 2 factor theory you could conclude that financial gain is a work hygiene issue. Pay is not a strong motivating factor until it does not reach market or personally assessed value. On the other hand, promotion provides an intrensic variable of success that motivates individuals. Also, if you look at Maslow' s Hierarchy the money based issues are on the base while self-actualization and social status are much higher on the pyramid.
Keeping this in mind most will find a higher degree of self-effacacy in a higher position vs a pay raise.