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Measuring Your Worth
by Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

It has been said that your worth can best be measured by the benefits others have gained from your success. How do others benefit from your gains?

An interesting exercise in self-awareness and self-esteem is to list all the ways that you think others might benefit from your existence. Be specific. The list will do two things: it will help you realize the contribution you make to the lives of others, whether you know the people or not; and, it will help you to identify ways that you might like to offer more.

Often we hear about the importance of making a contribution in this world. Just as with communication, so it is with contribution: You cannot not contribute. The question is "What are you contributing?" Do you make someone's day brighter with a smile or a card? Do you remember a birthday? Acknowledge an accomplishment? Remember to ask about someone's concerns? In this fast-paced, I-want-it-yesterday world, it seems even more important to remember each other, think about each other, care for each other.

Sometimes I think we are endangered by our technology. When I am on Seattle streets, walking at a Vancouver Island pace, I am sometimes chilled by the breeze of folks running by, looking at their watches. The other day I was going to a meeting in a large office building that houses many telecommunications firms. I approached the information desk in the lobby to inquire about the room for my meeting. The security guard, a man who himself looked endangered, met my request with an abrupt, "We do not have conference rooms. Who are you, anyway?" I explained who I was and what the meeting was and he told me it would not be in his building. I persisted, he made some calls and discovered that there was a conference room but that the meeting I wanted was not listed for that room. I said I would go up and look for my colleagues. He panicked...told me I could not do that. I said that I wanted to attend my meeting...he, very angrily, said he would take me there because he did not know who I was or what I wanted.

On the way up in the elevator--a very long way up, as you can imagine--I asked him if the building had a security problem. Was this why I was being treated this way? He said it was none of my business. We reached the room filled with my colleagues and they explained to him how the room was booked. That, too, angered him. As he left me, I wished him a better day.

What an incredible level of stress for him to live with each day. What an incredible degree of suspicion his job brought forth in him! You know the old adage, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Well, he personified it! For folks living with this degree of fear, we can offer them understanding without letting them run us over, can't we?

We have the opportunity of being the light in someone's day, of adding to someone's pleasure or adding to his or her pain. We can make things easy or difficult. We can collaborate or compete. We can put our own needs above those of other or we can help others get what they want first. There are no rules, of course. It is important, however, to be conscious of how our choices affect others, and, of how others benefit from our existence. Even in tiny ways, we make a difference.

Today, before you say or do anything, take a breath and ask yourself, "Will this make the contribution I want to make to this conversation, relationship, business deal, etc.?" If the answer is yes, proceed with assurance. If the answer is no, you'll have consciously given yourself the opportunity to do it differently. Choose well.

Related Articles:

The Art of Gratefulness
What we focus on expands. If we focus on the problems in our lives, they tend to increase. If we focus on the good things we already have, they too, have a tendency to grow.

How Full is Your Cup?
Sometimes what we know interferes with what we could learn. The author shares a story that shows us how we need to empty our "cup" before we can fill it with knowledge.

Is Your Self Confidence Based on What You Have Accomplished?
Do you ever find that your level of self confidence tends to go up and down like the stock market? Or perhaps it even goes up and down along with the stock market! Here is a story about a Japanese businessman that might give you a new perspective.

Copyright (c) Rhoberta Shaler, PhD All rights reserved worldwide.

Dr. Rhoberta Shaler, speaker, coach & expert motivator, nurtures initiative and propels achievement! With her strategies, your dreams and plans will become measurable achievements. Join her online community at and get free articles, ezines, useful tools & strategies, plus teleseminars, products and booking information.

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