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Give the Best of Yourself

How to properly value who you are.

Source: Pixabay

They traveled far to meet this local hero.

He was no ordinary fisherman. He was famous for having saved so many lives that one night during the worst storm to hit the islands.

There, on the side of his boat, was carved the number "22."

Quite understandably, they assumed that as none of the other boats resting along the water's edge had any marking, other than the odd crudely painted name, that this then must be the number of people he had so bravely plucked from the boiling ocean.

But they were to discover that this was not the case; rather, he had painted "22" to remind himself of the number of souls he had failed to save that night.

And so it was, and so it should be, someone who measured themselves by their own watermark and not by that of others ...

Nothing matters more than truly understanding the measure of oneself; only we know who we truly are. What others may think might be important for our reputation, but that is not the absolute measure.

There is a vast difference between what people show of themselves and who they truly are.

This is not because people are willfully deceitful, but because for the most part, we like to keep aspects of our lives private. And therefore, to assume that we can — or should — measure our worth, or true fulfillment, against the watermark of anyone else, is an assumption too far.

So many lose the true value and quality of life because they are obsessed with collecting "life trophies." Invariably, these people are either spoiled or hold themselves captive to some inexplicable notion that they just have to keep up with the "good fortune" of others — where they live, the size of their house, the clubs they belong to, the people they know, the schools and colleges attended, the cars, the jewelry, the art, the brands ... and, if they don't, then, by degrees, they are failures.

Many ridiculously think others care but, as the saying goes, "When I hear how well my friends are doing, I die a little." In large part, a great deal of "social dressing" is just about tussling and display. What people own may amount to a whole lot of coins, but that is all.

It is unfortunate how many of the things mentioned above, by the standards of society, are regarded as measures of success. But it is a poor measure. In the end, as every broken pharaoh's tomb will attest, wealth is but ephemeral; finally, we own nothing but who we are within.

I write this as a man who often, in times gone by, didn't quite realize just how lucky or happy I was until real loss and sadness came to visit. Only then did I come to realize all the things I already had and all the things I should have never taken for granted. It is not what we gather, but how.

The incidental moments, the gathering of all the parts; it is the whole that finally does define the substance of who you really are.

"How we wake up, how we greet people, how we make lunch, how we go to the supermarket, how we celebrate birthdays, how we surprise our families, how we fold our laundry, how we listen ... does not take courage, but consciousness, to care about these things every day."

The Power of "How"

Understanding this profound yet simple truth defines the importance of true, valid value. And this is as much a lesson for life as indeed it is in business.

Take care of how you treat all moments, how you treat all people, how you see the inner value of yourself. Gather all the parts. Forgive and be forgiven.

Give your best and in so many ways, you will receive.