Wealth and Worth
How is my worth and my wealth connected?
Worth is intrinsic to being human.
It doesn’t increase or decrease based on my position in society.
It is not something I can produce or manufacture.
We get the ideas backward when we start defining our worth by what we’ve created, where we’ve “arrived,” our leadership, self-improvement, and everything we’ve done to become better, hone our craft, learn, or develop ourselves. From this vantage point, we will always be striving to get to our worth that is “out there” somewhere, separate from us, that we’ll get to someday if we just try hard enough.
But your worth comes from the simple reality that you now exist, live, move and breathe. There is a Creator God who valued you, envisioned you and brought you life.
Your value and significance and being enough come before anything that you do. Coming to terms with that truth will free you to do your greatest work and provide your greatest value to others.
In The Go-Giver, Bob Burg and John David Mann discuss the laws of stratospheric success. Two of the basic laws of nature are that dollars follow value – meaning that when you provide true value to others, you’ll prosper financially as a result – and that the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself – meaning that there is nothing you can create outside of yourself that is as valuable as bringing the true, authentic version of you to the table in every interaction. Combined, the force of these two truths is that when you recognize and treasure who you are, you are able to value others, which in turn, gives you the ability to create more value for them, impacting more people’s lives, and prospering as a result of that value exchange.
On the contrary, if you start from a position of insecurity and “not-enough-ness,” then you see others as also not enough, and in need of fixing.
This is especially relevant in the world of educating, coaching, consulting, and service-based business, where your work contributes to others in a way that advances their life. If we seek to exploit their insecurity, and showing how we can, by our doing, make them complete, we all end up in a frustrating, dehumanizing struggle where we’re always subconsciously jockeying for position in the social context to see who is better, who has more power in the interpersonal relationship, and who is, essentially, more valuable.
When we compare ourselves to others based on what we see externally, we cultivate the feeling of inferiority or superiority in how we measure up. It becomes a silent, internal tug-of-war that creates a wasteland where trust cannot grow. It is the enemy of authentic relationships.
When I am already enough, I don’t serve others in order to prove my value to myself and the world. Instead, I honor the humanity of the person I am serving, not trying to change them, or trying to move them from one position to another outside of their will, but truly seeking to serve them from a genuine, heartfelt respect and admiration for who they are as a person.
Once you’ve served others and consequently brought money into your life, how do you live with wealth?
The person who already knows that they are enough has no need to spend to prove their worth. Their completeness allows them to attract, receive, and give money into and out of their lives without greed, grasping and longing.
So the way I produce value is by knowing my worth. I can value others because I value myself. When value is exchanged, dollars show up as a tangible, material way to announce the transaction. But the money is not the true value, the humans serving one another are. And when money flows into my life, I spend in a way that’s congruent with the character of a person who is already enough.
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