“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” – Henry David Thoreau
Net-worth: Your assets minus your debts.
Self-worth: The quality of being worthy of esteem or respect.
As humans, it is in our nature to compare ourselves to others. Unfortunately, because we can only compare the things that we can objectively measure, we live in a world that is great at measuring and comparing externals. Somewhere along the way, we decided that we could determine who is living a more valuable life by comparing their clothes, cars, homes, and paychecks.
Simply put, we tied self-worth to net-worth. As a painful result, we began to make judgements about our own life value by the possessions that we own. But, in reality, our life is far more valuable than the things that we own.
The wages that we earn provide for our lives, but they do not define our lives. (tweet that)
Fortunately, when we change our thinking on this matter, we are freed to pursue a life worthy of esteem and respect that is not tied to our possessions. Consider these 8 steps to improve your self-worth regardless of your net-worth.
1. Live a life of integrity and character. There is no greater feeling than laying your head on your pillow at night having no regrets in your dealings with others. Consider the immeasurable value that comes from looking back over your entire life and seeing the same thing.
2. Cultivate worthy endeavors that are available in infinite supply. There is no limit to the amount of love you can show, the amount of hope you can spread, or the number of encouraging words you can speak. Cultivate these things in liberal supply. They will cost you nothing, but will begin to mean everything.
3. Delight in your uniqueness. The fact that you are different from everybody else makes you valuable. Be comfortable with yourself and proud of yourself. Don’t suppress it or hide it. Instead, do the opposite: Champion your uniqueness.
4. Give away your most valuable resource. The most precious resource we own is our time. Therefore, the most precious thing that we can ever give to another person is our time. Make a habit of giving it away to others.
5. Live courageously. Find the mental strength to accept new challenges without regards to the fear that may lie beneath. Live with great expectations about what your life can become and accomplish.
6. Develop self-confidence. A confident person feels better about themselves, stands up taller, and smiles more. A confident person does not follow the crowd or try to become someone else. A confident person focuses on their achievements and anticipates their next opportunity in life with excitement.
7. Embrace your weaknesses. There are no perfect people in this world. We all have struggles and weaknesses. I have found that one of the best ways to identify with others is in our weakness. When we admit that we need help, we are finally ready to interact with others on a truly valuable level.
8. Make the most of every opportunity. Each new day brings with it new opportunities. Don’t waste a single one. Do everything you do with quality and excellence.
Your true self-worth is up to you. Increase it. Don’t allow your life’s pursuit to be caught up in the acquisition of material things – that makes for a nice net-worth, but not necessarily a high self-worth. And self-worth trumps net-worth any day.