Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sense of Self-worth

How do you determine your self worth? What do you attach your self-worth to? To the amount of money you make? To the amount of savings you have? To your profession? To your parents' profession? To how far have you climbed the corporate ladder? To your looks? To the looks of your spouse or lover? To your weight? To their weight? To your education? To your IQ ? To how informed you are about news of the world? To the kind car you are driving? To the branded stuffs you are owning? To how well you perform in sports? To your marital status? To the type of house you live in? To the opinions of your bosses on you or to what people think of you? Or do you have additional things to add?

Let's stand back and look at these. Have they ever really make you felt fulfilled in the long run?

Did you feel ever for once felt something is missing/wrong when you are attaching yourself to these stuffs? Have you ever heard some ornery voices telling you that this is not what you want even though you had acquired them? Did you ever felt a sense of emptiness which needs to be filled up frequently by another form of acquisition or addiction? If you do hear them before or now, please don't dismiss them as imaginary or unnecessary. Those are the voices from our heart. They are always doing their best to let you hear what you desire deep within. Many chose to ignore it by convincing themselves that they need that thing to be self worthy. Or by convincing themselves since everyone else is going for similar stuffs, then it must be right.

Today, our media is able to convince many of us that only people who are slim, rich, powerful, highly intelligent and outstanding sportsmen are desirable and worthy. There are so many shows which indicate that not being married at a certain age meant that the person is worthless (especially for woman). In many others, fat people are stigmatized as lazy, brainless and thick-skinned. Tall, rich, slimy and good-looking stars are celebrated everyday glamorously indicating that we will only become worthy if we mimic them. Then we have our parents who were convinced by theirs parents teaching us the same messages. No wonder we think that we need those things.

It is the value association system which most of us have been brought up in. It is a model which offers us a false calculation of our self-worth in terms of the value we have acquired. However, when you look deeper, it is all about acquiring and seeking things outside ourselves. A mentality derived from consumerism and capitalism.

Looking at my life, I have attached my state of self-worth to many of them. In my days of attachment with money, I did several professions which can get me fast money. I was involved in network marketing, working in sales (advertising and recruitment) and computer networking shift jobs (higher pay due to shifts). In the end, I had not worked in any of them for more than a year. At first, I blamed myself to be a quitter, unable to stay on to a company and unable to stand up to challenge. However, something was telling me there were more to it. It took me sometime to finally realize that money itself does not motivate me at all. It was most vivid at the times when I was able to bring more money but I did not experienced much joy. In fact, it did not gave me satisfaction in achieving it. I felt that something was missing in the services that I was providing.

At other times, I was attached to my level of education. While I was still a diploma holder, most of my friends were degree holders. I was very low in self-worth academically and I even avoided contacting my best friends for years. During the period, I was constantly reminded by people around me that it is important to have a education as it determines how far you can climb in the corporate ladder. As you can see, I even had my self-worth determined by how the corporate world values me. I would worth $1600 for being a diploma and $2300 as a degree holder. I had defined myself according to the monetary value which they had decided on me without even knowing who I am within. Eventually, I went forward to get a diploma and even a degree which I may never use in my life. At that time however, I did not see it as a method to raise my self-worth. I conceived it as a plausible reason that to get on in life, I needed a degree. I would never acknowledge that I am low in my self-worth.

There was even a time when I had a criteria that my partner had to be slim and pretty so that people can be envious of me. Only to find out that superficial beauty will eventually erode while internal beauty shines more brightly as one ages.

Having low self-worth is detrimental for one's life as many times you just don't think you deserve good things. Many times, I am stuck in my tracks thinking that I will not be able to do anything great. Keep safe, Andrewson. Keep safe...

I am glad that I feel differently nowadays. There are still many attachment that I am learning to let go and many things to improve. But it does not matter if I am a degree holder, an O'level holder or a drop-out any more. It does not matter on how much money I am earning (though it is wonderful to have plenty) as it does not ascertain my self-worth and who am I as a person.

What makes the change? It is from the realization that no matter who I am in terms of education, intelligence, attractiveness, power and resources. There is always something I can contribute to humanity, to animals, to environment and to the world. All it takes is the willingness, the actions and the purpose. I am just who I am. We are all spiritual beings having a physical experience. I realized that self-worth is never about acquiring. It is about giving. How much love am I giving to myself and what are we contributing.

What we are giving that we think can help? To what extend is the contribution going to be timeless. How long will it benefit the others? Will it benefit our future generations? Knowing that I can do all these in my own ways raises my self-worth tremendously. My sense of worth no longer depends on physical acquisition which will disintegrate and perish in time. It no longer depends on things which I will not bring with me when I die. It depends on the values which I can contribute to the world that will impact and stays on even in tiny factors when I am no longer around. Self-worth also depends on our courage to live our dreams. The courage to take the actions when everyone else doesn't.

How much are you contributing to the world or are you just making the shareholders of the company that you are working in fat rich? How much are you doing for the environment or are you doing things which encourage organizations to pollute and destroy Earth further? Are you living a life which inspire people or a life which discourages people to go for what they want? Are you planting seeds of love around the world or you just leaving weeds in the mind of our children? Choose consciously as every choice we make has a butterfly effect. No matter how small, it will impact the whole world.

Do something for the world. Do something for Earth. Do something to improve the life of sentinel beings around you. Do it in your own ways. You do not have to make it big. A thousand steps starts with just one tiny step. Experience the wonder of giving and you will find joy in increasing your self-worth. Enjoy it and you will feel your self-worth soaring. The more you show love, the better the world becomes. We all need some love here and there.

So till next time and have fun .

'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.' - Winston Churchill

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