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It is not unusual to assess people around us by the position they occupy, the title behind their names, or how rich they are. We often associate value to people based on their social status in the society, thus the richer or more powerful you are, the higher your value. It is this value driven system that makes millions of people follow and connect with celebrities on social media. How else can we explain why Katy Perry alone has over 108 million followers on Twitter or how Selena Gomez can boast of over 130 million followers on Instagram? A market crash can occur with just 140 letter characters from any of the authoritative CEOs or Wall Street analysts, negatively impacting many lives as a result. A single tweet or Facebook post has led to unrest in some part of the world in the past. I read somewhere that Robert Kiyosaki made $5 million in book sales as a result of his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey’s show. How and what makes these people have so many fans all over the world wanting to connect with them? What value do these people truly hold? Are you of any value? How do you measure your value?

I believe these are legitimate questions to ask considering the impact of these celebrities on the society in general. It is easy to feel intimidated thinking that you have no value when you compare yourself with the famous people around you. Just recently two celebrities took their own life just out of the blue. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were both awesome people. I am particularly fascinated by the energy that Bourdain exhumes whenever he is on his show. He was a good man. For many years, I have seen my families and friends with all sorts of Kate Spade’s handbags. She was a genius. We will definitely not know the demons that these two-amazing people wrestled with or what led to their suicides, but from this incident, it is obvious that the true value of life cannot be tied to fame or material possession. Our culture today is driving us to focus on superficial means such as becoming the next social media billionaire, 100 most powerful men or women in the world or making the 30 under 30 Forbes list, as a way of assessing our importance or value in the society. If you can join any of these much-coveted group of people, you will be considered valuable, if not, you are ordinary.

How then can you evaluate your value in life? In my research on this topic, I found out that the answer to this question varies, and it is personal. In general, the value of life is about you as an individual, what you live for, and the lives you are able to impact. I want you to know that irrespective of your title or position that you hold, you are important. You are a master piece, you are impactful, and you are simply invaluable. If you take a moment to change your perspective, you will agree with me. If you are a father or mother, your children know that you are irreplaceable. If you have a spouse, you are special to him or her. Your friends and people within your circle of influence find you influential. You may not be able to change the whole world and affect the lives of millions of people, but to the people that are really close to you, you are an essential being. Here are some useful tips that will help you to appreciate your value in life:

  1. Value is about contentment:Most people work hard to acquire and accumulate material things. They are constantly looking for the next big thing to achieve. They have multiple degrees and achievement to their names. Being driven is a good quality for a successful life, but we must constantly evaluate the opportunity cost of all our daily strives. Of what benefit is it to work so hard and not have time to enjoy the benefits?
  2. Value is not dependent on social media connections:Human being is a social animal. It is good to connect and interact with others on a daily basis, but we should not judge our value in life based on this measure alone. Instead, look for people in your immediate circle of influence whose lives you can positively impact, and do your best to add value to their lives.
  3. Value is not tied to material possession:No matter how successful, wealthy or seemingly happy you think other people are, they also have their own struggles. It is good to have money and be able to afford the good things of life, but your value is in no way tied to the amount of money that you are able to accumulate. Stop evaluating your life based on material possession, and start focusing more on what is important to you – family, health, sound mind, etc.
  4. Value is about important moments:Life is about moments. Your value in life is closely tied to those moments that bring you joy and happiness. The moments that you took someone’s breath away, the moment you spend with your loved ones, the moment that you watch your son score the winning goal in his soccer league. Those are the moments you are adding value to someone else’s life, and in return you are becoming important to them in the process.
  5. Value is about making incremental progress:We are all in constant pressure to achieve and make name for ourselves. We want to start business and start making millions of dollars instantly, we quickly want to climb the career ladder and become the boss overnight. Our culture is turning us into group of hardworking, discontent group of over achievers. You should celebrate and be proud of small progress in your life. Do not despise the little beginnings, says the holy book. The big is always in the small. A tree grows from little seed. If you have faith like tiny mustard seed, you can move big mountains.  If you have a roof over your head, can pay your bills, and you are putting food on the table, it calls for celebration. You are simply invaluable.
  6. Value is internal not external. Define what is important to you and what you consider to be success. Success is personal. No one can determine what success should look like for you, because life is your life and your happiness is yours not others. Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy. After all, it is your life we are talking about here, not others. So, determine what is important to you and what your success means to you, then based your value on them, not what the outside world says it is important to you.
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