If someone had to put a dollar value on you, how much would you be worth? What factors need to be taken into consideration when evaluating a person’s worth? Annual salary? Contribution to society? Aesthetic appeal? Below is a rubric for evaluating a person’s value:
1. Quality of Interpersonal Interactions
We are defined by how we treat other people. Each interaction with another individual reflects a personal belief system and code of morality. How do you treat strangers? How do you treat the people closest to you? These observations give great insight on a person’s character. A high-quality person treats all people with respect, no matter the relationship. A stranger deserves an equal amount of respect as a longtime friend. Even if a person has wronged a high-value individual, the wrongdoer is still treated with respect. High-value people understand that disrespecting others is the equivalent of disrespecting the self.
2. Quality of Relationship to the Self
Think about your interactions with yourself; the voice in your head. How reassuring is it? How positive? How cruel? A high-value person has an honest and fair relationship with himself. He is realistic about his flaws, but confident in his ability to learn, grow, and change for the better. A high-value person talks to himself as a friend and as a coach; the relationship is solid and aimed at progression.
3. Consistent Demonstration of Courage
A high-value person is brave. Bravery does not mean that he feels no fear; instead, he is attuned to the feeling of fear, yet proceeds in the right direction anyway. A high-quality person is courageous enough to express his personal gifts and opinions. He does not act with the purpose of gaining popularity: he acts because he is very in touch with his core belief system. Actions are deliberate and aligned with his values, and courage is the refusal to be defined by convention at the cost of authenticity.
4. Strength of Will and Moral Fiber
A high-value person is willful, powerful, and moral. There is a clear difference between right and wrong in his book, and these values are non-negotiable. What this type of individual sees as worth pursuing is given full attention and priority. Human willpower is capable of accomplishing astounding feats. Strength of will is defined as a committed persistence to excellence.
A high-value person realizes that he was created to give, and understands that personal wealth is reflected in contribution. His contributions are not made with an ostentatious purpose. Contribution does not have to be at a large scale: giving is an act of joy in itself. By giving to others, the high-value individual feels full inside. This person strategically gives his unique gifts often, but not so that he neglects himself.
6. Ability to Empathize and Forgive
A high-value individual understands the susceptibility of humans to frequent error, understanding himself as a flawed but still valuable being. A high-quality person is capable of relating to those that have wronged him. He is capable of forgiving both outsiders, and himself. Kindness and benefit of doubt go a long way, and holding resentment and bitterness does not allow one to live to his fully capacity. Forgiveness is emancipation from chains of resentment that keep one fettered to the past.
7. Effective Prioritizing
This world is complicated. We are pulled in multiple directions every day, willingly, or not. Smart people have a strict list of priorities, with interpersonal relationships at the top. There is a difference between having a priority list and living one’s life according to the list. High-value people are excellent time, emotion, and energy managers who carefully allot their personal resources according to their priority list. If a time-consuming objective of low value arises, it is eliminated. The majority of time, emotional, and energy resources are given to nurture and sustain important relationships. The high-value person understands that quality relationships with people are all uniquely temporary and thus invaluable.
8. Flexibility and Openness to Change
A high-value person understands that we are under the illusion that we are completely in control of our lives. As much as we would like to predict the future, it is impossible. A high-value individual practices the art of letting go when control cannot be maintained. He realizes that flexibility is counterintuitive to the human’s need to seek comfort, but fearlessly leaves parts of his life open to outside forces. He does not get angry when things don’t go his way, or when uncontrollable events occur. Traffic, weather, and other people are not controllable. However, emotional mastery is.
So, how much are you worth?
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