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Have you ever noticed there’s quite people in the world who have really f***ed up attitudes about money? Inconsistent, super-spenders one second, super-tight-wallet the next? Always judging and hating on other people’s expenditures? Labeling this person and that person as ‘wasteful’ ?
You know why so many people are confused about money? It’s because they get money mixed up with VALUE.
It’s easy to look at a well-established professional, who’s selling all kinds of things and reaching all kinds of audience, and then look at ourselves and think that we’re useless, or that our value is shit. No one would pay me, right?
Every human being has tremendous value. Huge value. Nearly incomprehensible amounts of value… the thing is, a good portion of the world acts and behaves as if they themselves, as well as others, have very little value.
These people will accept all sorts of abuse, they’ll consistently accept small-change for their awesome services, and they’ll often place their spouses time and wants and needs consistently above their own, as they repress what they really want, in a relationship. Some will even decide that money is more valuable than dignity, integrity, or honour, and they’ll live their lives off the backs of others, scamming them for profit. And the victims of this behaviour will accept it, and won’t declare "Hey, I’m more valuable than slavery and scams, and I refuse to have them in my life."
"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." – Oscar Wilde
In most western countries, the current prevailing mindset (and if you look carefully, its changing) is that of the capitalist. "Save every dollar, scrounge every penny, cut every corner you can get away with – its the only way to get ahead of this struggle." This mindset produces exactly what it sounds like it would produce, a bunch of people fighting to get their piece of the pie, we’ll call them, the pie-cutters. I personally run in a different circle, I spend my time with people who have a different understanding of value, they’re the ones who feel the world is a beautiful place, with more than enough for everyone, and if we simply manage our thoughts a bit differently, we’ll see the evidence of this. Because of this attitude, these people are happy to give their all and go the extra-mile for themselves and others. We’ll call them the extra-milers.
Now let’s take a look at a case study together. Let’s imagine that you’re looking to buy or invest in something in your life – lets say you’re tired, sore, tight, and your body could use some TLC. So you’d like a massage, for example.
So you head onto craigslist and find what looks like 2 reasonably priced massage therapists. You can choose to do business with a massage therapist from the pie-cutter camp, or from the extra-miler camp. Let’s say they’re twins — exactly equal skill. They’re both intelligent, both charge the same amount — the only difference between the two is one has the mindset of "struggling to get his piece of the pie," and the other has the mindset that "the world is an awesome place and he and everyone else will be taken care of as soon as we start valuing each other."
Now, behind-the-scenes, these two twin massage therapists are both just starting up their business: they both recently invested and have rent and debt hanging over their heads, and they both could really use your business.
Our pie-cutter therapist thinks like this: "I need to spam simple craigslists ads, because psychologically, if I keep forcing people to see my ad over & over, they’ll eventually crack pr give in to their subconscious and come to me for a massage. When they arrive, I’ll charge them $70.00 an hour ’cause that’s as little as I can afford to just cover the costs of my massage equipment and rental space. I’ll also use this sketchy, cheaper oil I got from a supplier in China, sure it’s not the greatest but I’ll just keep that a secret from the client." – It’s not a stretch to see this therapist attracting a trickle of clients, who likely won’t be ultra-satisfied, and who likely don’t value this therapists talent, and are probably more trouble than they’re worth.
Our extra-miler thinks like this: "I simply love giving massages. I love being the best I can be. I love helping people and I love having people know that, so I will make a few different amazing craigslist ads, and post them tastefully. Then, I’ll charge clients only $35..00 for their first session, (even though I’ll lose money and it’s kinda scary ’cause I can’t pay this month’s rent,) and I know that what I do is so beneficial and such high value, that people will come back to me as repeat business *and* tell all their friends. I’m glad I put in the effort and studied biology, anatomy and essential oils — now I can use some hand-crafted oils made and researched specifically to have a healing massage, and I can’t wait to share this awesome information with my clients." – We can probably see this therapist attracting a ton of loyal, excited, clients who loves him and his work.
(2 perfect examples of thought-management.)
After a brief e-mail or chat with each of these candidates, which would you choose? I think its safe to say we’d all choose the extra-miler. If you look at most successful and fulfilled people in life, they’re extra-milers. The way they treat people, friends, clients, suppliers, employees, bosses, whoever. They hold an amazing mindset, even if things seem risky or scary, and it pays off for them a million times over.
Often when I discuss this situation with any of the pie-cutters, I end up confronted by tons of resistance and many excuses as to why changing their mindset is too scary, risky, unaffordable, etc. and often despite knowing that I’m a creative thinking person who is just brimming with solutions, they’ll tell me that there *is* no other way and they can’t believe that I’ve taken the risks I’ve taken, and there’s no way they could do it — and so they remain pie-cutters, reaping a pie-cutter’s results.
When I discuss this situation with extra-milers, they invariably share their joy in life and they express an intense desire for all the pie-cutters to join us in success, and for them to change their mindset and do things a different way.
Value is the essence of things which improve a person’s life. Price is simply the (practically made up) money/time investment that life requires to gain the essence of True Value. When you offer something to the world, it doesn’t matter so much what price you charge (OK, it matters a bit ,) but it definitely matters how much value you’re offering. When you’re investing in something, it doesn’t really matter how much you’re paying as much as how much value this investrment will bring to you and the people around you.
So that’s a quick look at how value vs. price works in day-to-day to life, but that’s not all. Even more worthy of your attention is, is the value you place on yourself.
Have you ever known a musician who’s obvious true calling was so bright and clear to you, but they chose or let themselves be bullied into work in another field where they were miserable? Or an artist who creates the most beautiful things, but spends most of his time in a retail store, barely making ends meet? Maybe someone with brilliant ideas for a new career but with "no idea how to start?" This situation wherein someone brilliant and talented with large amounts of goodness to offer the world ends up settling for less out of fear, ignorance, brain-washing, abuse, lethargy, misplaced priorities, or whatever — is something most of us have been witness to.
Often people don’t acknowledge their own value, and they don’t realize that to truly appreciate their own value, is to develop it, risk with it, devote time to it, and definitely not to squeeze it in after an unhappy or ho-hum 9-to-5 grind. Again, what we get because of this consistent ignoring our own value, is a world filled with people with huge amounts of talent (and true-callings and idea-people and big-thinkers) who wander around our planet moving boxes and settling for being locked in cubicles. These are the same big-thinkers and talented artists who can influence large bodies of people. Think about it…
If Beyonce said "Hey, I support the 1% for The Planet movement, it’s one way I’m an independent woman." Then so would a good chunk of the audience at her concerts. That’s the only work she needs to do at this point, to create massive value. However, she did not start out with that kind of power, she developed it. She kept giving and offering and letting go of worry, as she continued her singing. She has developed her value and launched her career and now she can influence tons of people. You probably know musicians who have similar ‘value potential,’ like they could fill rooms, draw crowds, and rock life, but they’re currently taking half-assed steps towards using it.
It’s usually not too difficult to look at other people and notice that they might not be living up to their potential, and it’s often less apparent for us to notice our own potential (possibly because we’re often focused on everyone around us instead,) or if we do notice, sometimes we live in denial for awhile.
"It is easy to pick fault with other people. In fact, often we gain a subtle enjoyment from highlighting the faults of others. If we are truly honest, however, we will see that when we criticize other people we actually have the very same weakness ourselves. Perhaps we may not make this mistake quite as frequently or as badly, but we still share it to some extent." – Tejvan Pettinger, PickTheBrain.com
Sometimes we’re looking at people from a very limited perspective, and then we compare ourselves to them. We may have feelings of inferiority eg: ”Other people can sing, live healthy, and make money…why can’t I?” or feelings of inadequacy eg: ”I have no talents…look at so-and-so, she’s just so talented, but I can’t do anything.” and feelings of worthlessness eg: "Nothing I do really matters, so why try?” These things aren’t true; you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the world who had little or nothing to offer, whether obvious or hidden.
Even people who many would write off as never amounting to much because of severe physical disabilities have huge value waiting to come out. Stephen Hawking, crippled in body and indirectly voiceless (from Motor Neurone Disease / Lou Gherig’s disease?) kept up with the world of quantum physics and has published many amazing literary works. Nick Vujicic (of lifewithoutlimbs.com) leads an inspiring successful happy life, despite being born limbless. Even people who at first glance may seem powerless, have great springs of talent hidden within.
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes the only way out of this mindset of low-worth, is faith. Faith in ourselves and our abilities, faith in our friends and our families and support systems, or if you feel like none of those are working — faith in angels or spirit guides or a higher power. If it helps you to use a different word than ‘faith’ (which some people find is too religious or old-school for them to appreciate,) we’ll substitute the word ‘confidence.’ They’re basically the same thing, regardless of what dictionaries may say.
Confidence is knowing, deep-down, somehow that something is true. Confidence in oneself is having faith in one’s own abilities, confidence in one’s friends, is having faith in those friends to deliver. Confidence that "everything will work out for the best," or that one "has a purpose or a calling," is still faith.
If we’re not focused too much on others, and we don’t limit our perspective, and we still aren’t stepping up to our own value, then sometimes we’re just plain… afraid. We don’t want people to think/see/say such-and-such about us, so we simply don’t do anything, in fear we get stuck. When we’re stuck, we’re miserable.
"What’s holding us back? Ultimately, it’s fear. It’s almost always fear. Fear is the number one reason why people stay in their safety zones. It’s why people don’t start new businesses. It’s why people stop looking for love. But what are we afraid of?" – Susan Baroncini-Moe, Lifehack.org
If we get stuck in fear, like an artist who hides all his work in his basement shying from criticism, then until it is out in the world, adorning walls or being viewed as often as possible, we’re basically hiding our talents and under-valuing ourselves.
Here’s a youtube video by Paul Evans on Value, he has a really excellent explanation of it (and an amusing southern drawl.)
The case he is looking at, is the case of someone who thinks they have very little skill. They have some though (just like you and I.) They have some ‘minor talents’ — they can make a simple youtube video or maybe start a blog, and in Paul’s example, they don’t value this ability or use it. Paul has an interesting model of how people tend to look at pros, and then they compare themselves to other people that they deem as "high-value" people. His video also analyzes things society tends to de-value and dismiss as not valuable. When we see the people who are executing their skills at a very high level, we often downplay our own abilities, thinking "Hey, my skills are nowhere near as good as that guys," but in reality, there are tons of people around who know next-to-nothing about a subject, and need tons of help, who the high-level guys won’t even bother with. There’s nothing bad or wrong in offering to help people who are ‘behind’ you in certain skills, and there’s nothing wrong with learning from the people who are ahead of you in certain skills. Whatever the case, there is always value to be offered by everyone.
Well, how exactly do we value another person? (With money? A smile? Commenting on their blogs?)
"The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings." – Albert Schweitzer
It’s important to love and value yourself before you do anyone else. If you feel yourself respectable and worthy of affection, people will flock to you because they’ll want to be around someone who loves themself and feels joyous about their own life and existence.
It’s recommended to genuinely be interested in people. Make eye contact with them when they speak to you, listen to what they tell you. Listen, by focusing and clearing your mind and feel their feelings. Avoid keeping an inner monologue or planning what to say next or your next conversational move. Sympathize with them when they share their problems with you. Make it a priority that their words matter to you, and help them believe it.
People enjoy being with people who are fun to be around. It will be impossible for them not to be attracted to you when they see you have a good sense of humor and a positive outlook, and eventually you will attract amazing and helpful people into your life.
Act kindly towards others; an unexpected gift, will empower both you and them.
If you find yourself being upset or miserable make a point of changing how you feel. The most helpful people you can meet, who will change your life, may also easily shy away from being around miserable people.
If you can take time to work on yourself, you will automatically be valuing others. The best way you can appreciate others is to be happy, and be kind to them. Period. If you give yourself goals such as being extremely attentive, extra generous, super-positive, etc., then you will express those qualities to others, and naturally and habitually leave them feeling valued and appreciated.
Arthur has a favourite method of enlightening people to their own value. Let’s take a look how it would go if you were helping someone out, who was always doubting their own value:
1. Interrupt their horrible ideas about their own value. (You’ve probably heard these, or even said them a number of times: "I can’t teach", "I can’t sell", "I can’t ’cause I need money", "I can’t ’cause Mom won’t let me.", etc.)
2. Draw them something, like the ‘Value Diagram’ from above (on a napkin or something.)
That’s it Arthur does this to practically everybody, and it rocks.
Basically what I’m encouraging, is for all of you to truly value yourself and others. The world is not nearly as cool, without you in it. Value yourself, and as you do, you’ll understand and be aware of value, and then you can truly value others.
Take whatever wicked-cool combination of skills you have, and go help others. If you’re an angry grocery worker, go be TheAngryGroceryWorker.com, and start sharing your stories. If you’re a passionate performer and love sharing it with others and getting them involved, register SexyPassionatePerformanceTutorials.com, and go take that value and teach dance in a new way, with a new style to a new crowd, and watch it grow. (It doesn’t have to be on the web, but online presences are cheap, effective, powerful ways to launch your vision.)
And hey, if there’s anyone you really feel would benefit from a little ‘public valuing’ or links here, feel free to mention them in the comments
Note: This was a remix of an early article that was a favourite of many. I trust you enjoyed the new version, info-graphics and all.