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How Much Are You Worth?

How Much Are You Worth?

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.

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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.

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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.

5. Contribution

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.

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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.

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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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