How valuable are you?

If you settle for less than you deserve, you end up getting less than you settled for. – Maureen Dowd

I always wonder about the value of a person. Most employees see people as consumables. Most people do not see themselves as valuable either. They do not even think of themselves in these terms.

If you ask somebody how valuable they think they are, the average answer would be: “I don’t know”

I remember I also gave that answer. Then I started to philosophy. The most obvious argument would be, because there is no one like me on this planet (you know uniqueness galore, fingerprints and DNA strings), therefore I am valuable. Building on the economic assumption that rarity increases value.

The intellectual acceptance of this argument, evolved into questions like: “If I am valuable, do I accept anything that does not match my value?” Why then does it not reflect in the reality of my life?

This bring us face to face to the emotional acceptance of the truth of our value. Before the intellectual is not aligned with the emotional, reality will not change. An intellectual acceptance is a superficial acceptance if it is not congruent with the emotional belief system.

So we can quote all the arguments out there, most of them other peoples arguments. Arguments that probably created the congruence of value for them. And we thank them for sharing it with us. But until we sit down and decide for ourselves our own value, it will stay superficial.

How then do we go about determining our value?

I would like to suggest a different question. I do not think it is a question of “How” but more a question of understanding the thinking behind the allocation of value. When is something valuable? When it is useful? When it is rare? Who determines the criteria?

Being aware of the thinking behind the concept of value can lead us to the conclusion that value is relative. Which is correct. But relativity is not the end, but the beginning. Relativity opens up huge possibility. It gives us the opportunity to choose our own boundaries around what we feel is of value. In this way, in my mind, we can create congruency between our emotions and intellect.

So a possible answer to the question “How valuable are you?” is; as valuable as you are willing to honestly understand your thinking behind the question.

And I would like to adapt Maureen Dowd’s quote to: “If you settle for less than deep understanding, you end up with superficial value”.

With love and respect


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