“A true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success.” ~ Cullen Hightower …
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful saleswoman whose extremely personable and authentic self was easily apparent to me. To be completely honest, I felt there was something wonderful about her when I first spoke on the phone, and this was confirmed when I found out that she had travelled hundreds of miles and had earlier scheduled hours of her day to visit an older gentleman who was dealing with cancer that had returned from remission. She was aware he was looking for financial answers that she most likely did not have and could not address; still, instead of writing him off, she decided to visit with him and share a measure of her time with him.
Frankly, I bring this up to highlight the fact that success is not always measured in monetary amounts. Most of us would have looked at this as a no sale, and a waste of time and energy, yet was this really the case? Was she not successful in being considerate, compassionate, giving, and so much more? I am confident I know what this older gentleman would say if I asked him.
Unfortunately, there are many false measures of worth–how much money we have in the bank, the model of the vehicle we drive, the square footage of our home, the number of friends we have online, what order we are picked to a team in sports. And when we let such false measure be the basis of our worth, then it becomes easy for us to become disheartened, to stop trying and to give up. But our worth is beyond measure, for we were each created perfectly, by a loving God.
In truth, even success can be an unfulfilling victory–we can succeed greatly, yet still feel lonely, confused, frustrated, and discontent. Typically, this happens because we do not have a truly accurate measure of our success. In addition, it is often easy for us to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life, of trying just to stay afloat. That is why it is important for us to find time to sit down and ask ourselves just how we are contributing to the lives of others, and exactly what are the gaining from our presence here on Earth. If the benefits are positive, then we are doing well. Of course, the benefits do not necessarily have to be direct either–the parent who raises their child to be a teacher or mentor who helps others to reach their potential also has benefited those individuals. And I know for a fact that I have gained benefit from thousands of people in the world each day–from those who grew the food I ate today, to those who helped get it to me–people whom I may never meet or know, but who nonetheless have contributed greatly to my life.
When we can approach each day with a focus on how our lives are contribute positively to those around us, we enable ourselves to see what we are giving to the world as opposed to what we are taking from the world. For perhaps the greatest determining factor of our true worth, is what we give to those with whom we share this planet.
Find an unlikely way to succeed, that might benefit those around you, and then attempt to do so.
Questions to consider:
What have you done today–even on a very small scale–that has contributed to the life of someone else in a positive way?
Why is it important to measure our worth based on what we have contributed to others?
From where do we get our ideas of how worth is measured? Are the measures that you grew up thinking were accurate really accurate?
For further thought:
“We bless the life around us far more than we realize. Many simple, ordinary things that we do can affect those around us in profound ways: the unexpected phone call, the brief touch, the willingness to listen generously, the warm smile or wink of recognition.” ~ Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings