My last blog entry Know Your Worth was about my recent viewing of a movie and how many of us (me included) don’t live our lives as we know our worth because of the fallacy that knowing your worth is mutually exclusive from being the compassionate, nurturing and ‘I’ll help you fix your problems” people that some of us are. Well, that’s a total fallacy, Knowing Your Worth is not selfish at all, and it’s not too late to learn that. I have been deliberate, daily in fact, multiple times a day, about reminding myself of my worth and how I spend my time.

Woke up another morning – Mortality…so spend your time how you like to….

Yes, you may have wasted years on people or jobs where you truly under rated yourself because you are this ‘giving person’ and you keep trying to fix others’ lives or make excuses for others all the time. Friends and family might have reminded you of your worth, but you chose to act inconsistently with knowing that. Deep down you probably always knew your worth, but chose not to act on it. Well, it’s not too late to live right. Yes, I wish the full realization AND implementation would have come much earlier in my life….but better late than never. But how do you make this knowledge of knowing your worth actionable? Unless your daily life and actions reflect it, this is just an abstract concept. How does this knowledge and understanding change your interactions with people in your life and possibly your job? If you continue with the same old patterns, nothing will change. You now know your worth, and are even more frustrated that the rest of the world doesn’t understand your wort; life is not rewarding and pointless.

Surely the answers can’t be addressed in one blog entry that I’m writing as I drink my french press coffee on a solo Sunday morning. Years of wrong behavior that lead to wrong outcomes and a lot of frustration will not transform overnight. It is definitely an evolution of your essence. And as I wrote in the other entry, I pound this into my head daily-I literally remind myself of this concept daily-several times. If I don’t like something, or how I’m treated, I remind myself and move forward consistently with knowing this self worth. I don’t try to make others understand my worth…

As I start to live my life (yes, my life, not someone else’s), I remind myself of a few principles to how to move forward with concept and implement it.

  1. Know that your time is valuable. I am not referring only to the monetary value of your time; it is a lot more than that. I am referring to evaluating the opportunity cost of doing something. With an undergraduate degree in Economics (graduate degree in Finance), this is something I should be very familiar with and I should have lived into, but didn’t. I am now actively thinking about this every day as I evaluate do I do option A or B (even trivial events). Ultimately, life is finite, we are mortals and we don’t know when our time is up. Here is the definition of opportunity cost:

A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else. Since every resource (land, money, time, etc.) can be put to alternative uses, every action, choice, or decision has an associated opportunity cost.

In short, spend your time wisely…it’s finite. I just read that a 27 year old died in a crash on the freeway, less than a mile from me. Nobody knows when they are done, so LIVE YOUR LIFE. When you think about doing option A, think about what other things could you be doing with you precious limited time. What’s the next best option? In fact, is it a better option? The only sure thing in this life is death and taxes. This doesn’t mean that you have to do wise things, or make a ton of $s or get a new degree. It means, don’t sell yourself short on how you spend your free time. Some of us cater to others so much that we don’t think about our needs or what we like and we keep putting it off. “I’ll get to it later, this other thing is more important,” and we never do. We do this in relationships, marriages, and friendships. Why, do others demand that we become nothing? Most really don’t, and if they did, then you should not spend time with them anyways. The people that say ‘oh don’t make a big deal out of this,’ etc., clearly don’t know your worth. Don’t accept that type behavior. Is that how you treat others? Most likely not, so why should you accept anything less?

This doesn’t mean become completely self absorbed and self indulgent, no. That is not what knowing your worth is. But be mindful of how you spend your time-again, it’s finite. If you really want to binge on some Netflix show that nobody wants to watch with you, go ahead. I’m sure you have watched shows for others to be nice and sharing, but if it’s not returned, learn, and adjust on how you spend your time and how much time you spend with others. Possibly spend time on improving your life; think about possibilities.

Another important factor is spend time on improving your life.

In this life you’re on your own

Prince, Let’s Go Crazy
Yes, he was right, and he died alone as well…

Yes, you are giving, caring and nurturing, but ultimately you have to solve your own problems and issues. If you are lucky, you will have a partner of some sort that you tackle the world with. But most are not that lucky, and ultimately you are on your own, with your own problems to solve. Yes, you may have supportive family and friends, but again, YOU are responsible for improving and managing your own life. Most of us ‘nurturing selfless types’ don’t like to be a burden on others. Yes, we want to solve others’ problems, help them, but yet we don’t ask for help or anything when we have problems. You can’t create a partner that knows your worth…they either do or they don’t. Sometimes it takes time for them to learn your true worth, but don’t waste too much time with the hope that they will see your worth…if they have not to a point…they probably never will. Accept this fact and adjust. Some people take time to learn your worth, some immediately get it and some never do.

2. Live YOUR life, not someone else’s

Why is this one tied to knowing your worth? Because when we don’t know our worth, we spend a lot of time living other people’s lives. We go along with their agenda, their preferences, we try to solve their problems, and not do things WE like. Sure with friends, family and relationships we do things they like to be nice and giving, but you have to live your life also. Your thoughts should be dominated by how to enjoy and improve your life; no it’s not selfish. Sometimes it means ‘lean into discomfort.’ I did last year by extending a conference trip in San Francisco, and spending a weekend solo in a strange city. Not ideal, and years ago I would have just returned home right after the conference was over. But I don’t travel enough and if I have to travel solo, so be it. Sure it would have been nice to hang out with someone, and share experiences, but that was not and option. So I chose, to look beyond that and enjoy the benefits of my hard work and enjoy a great city. I lived MY life. And I will this year as well, solo or not.

Of course in an ideal situation, it’s great to build your life with someone. You can achieve and build together more with the right person than alone. But again, empirically, I haven’t seen that to be very common. Not sure why, but it’s not something you can count on happening. You can keep trying, but I have certainly dragged things out in an attempt to try. If it happens, you find the right partner, and build a great life together, you won life’s lottery. If not, still live.

To me: 1) Know your time is valuable, and 2) Live your Life, are the first two steps in changing interactions and actions – I constantly remind myself of these daily, in fact multiple times a day. Years of bad patterns are hard to change, and it is a constant process. It’s not easy, but necessary and worthwhile.