How do you know what your value is?

How can you paint a picture of who you are, when you are colour blind?

I find it hard to value myself.

I’m also willing to bet that it’s something not a lot of us have actively considered before. Do we value ourselves?

When I was searching for my last job, I did not give much thought to understanding how much my value is worth. But then it struck me. If I did not know what my own value was then, logically, how could I know if I was looking for the right job? Or furthermore,  even know where to start when negotiating my salary? How could I let someone interviewing me value me, when I did not know what my value was myself?

Separately, you may have heard a friend say “My significant other does not value me enough”.  Maybe you have even said this yourself. But again in this context, how can we say someone does not value us, when most of us do not know our own value?

Following on from this, we are all aware that in life, we have to constantly make decisions, everyday.

So I stopped to think. Would I be able to make better decisions in ALL aspects of my life, if I knew what my true value was?

Could knowing my true value even lead to greater happiness? Or perhaps, could it give me the realisation of where to focus my time and attention, so that I could improve myself?

In thinking about this I asked myself: why should I even want to know my own value? It sounds very egotistical; maybe I should be humble and think I have no value.

Well, on the contrary, I have learnt that by understanding what my value is, I can actually live a better spiritual life too.

Valuing yourself is not the same thing as thinking you are better than other people. This will be relative thinking. I was interested in an absolute value.

To understand this, first let’s consider how the corporate world calculates valuations as an example (bear with me, I promise it will not be too intense!).

There are essentially two methods to value any company;

1. Absolute valuation

2. Relative valuation

An absolute valuation will for example, look at the present value of all future streams of cash flows from investing in that target company.  This method looks at the internal fundamentals of the target company to work out its ‘true’ or intrinsic value. In a nutshell, you can calculate a value today, based on how much income this company will generate for all the years it operates in the future.

A relative valuation model on the other hand, compares the target company to other similar companies to calculate a valuation. This can be done by calculating ratios in the target company and then benchmarking them to the ratios of other comparable firms. Whatever those ratios may be, the point is a comparison is made to other similar companies. This is a lot easier and quicker and therefore is often the first method used to value a target company.

But valuing a company is very different to valuing oneself.

Returning to the question:

How do I know what my value is?

You see, we can only make decisions based on the information that we have.

A lot of the time we get this information by comparing ourselves to others. When doing so, we ask ourselves questions of comparison like:

“what job does someone similar age to me have?

How much are they earning?

Are they married?

Do they have children?

What car do they drive?

What type of house are they living in?

How many holidays a year do they go on?”

When we ask ourselves all of these things and more, we use other people as our benchmarks and then we place ourselves above or below that benchmark.

This is a relative valuation. It is easy to do. The corporate world thinks so too. During school we have a ranking system with grades. During infancy, our parents compare our ability to walk or talk to peers of a similar age. Our minds our conditioned from a young age to think relatively. Why would we not think relatively when we grow up?

The problem is, comparing ourselves to others does not give any indication of our absolute value. Thus, because we want to do better, even if we found the most accurate relative valuation of ourselves, once we feel like we’ve exceeded it, the benchmark moves to the next level up. Therefore, we are never content; using a relative valuation can only bring unhappiness.

But how can we possibly know our ‘true’ or intrinsic value?

Personal value = internal qualities + external impact

Understand that there are only two dimensions to us;

1. Internal

2. External

There is me as a being, my existence, and equally there is existence external to me. Nothing else. This is everything. Or higher still, this is one thing.

Internally, we are limitless. We are unbounded in our ability, only limited by our mind. We do not correctly value the technology we come packaged in and therefore we do not correctly value ourselves. We downplay it. We apply self-imposed limits on it.

Externally, our impact on the world is different for different people, only limited by the value we have placed on our internal qualities.

Realise that with confidence, you can achieve not only good things but great feats. Relentlessly spend time in society thinking about how you can increase the value of others to peripherally realise the true unlimited value of yourself.

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2 thoughts on “How do you know what your value is?”

  1. Hey …

    I’ve been following your blog…it’s awesome.

    Although we’ve not heard from you in a while…when shall we expect something new?

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