I’ve thought a lot of about the idea of value.  Understanding value goes a long way in creating a life worth living. The secret to having abundance in life is to give more than you receive. The formula for misery is to take more of it than you give. Paradox rears its ugly head. It’s alright. Let me explain.

Happiness and Success:  Value Given > Value Taken

Misery and Hardship: Value Taken > Value Given

Definition of value: the importance or preciousness of something. The receiver of value, the consumer, decides how important or precious something is. Some things are universally valuable while others are a matter of personal taste. We all need food, would all really want sex and companionship, and like different sports.

The needs are non-negotiable, the wants drive us crazy if we don’t get them (but generally don’t lead to death), and the likes would be nice to have but life goes if they lack. There are many ideas to take from this, but the most important one is that value is dictated by the consumer. Not the producer.

This game is all about exchange. If you want a new car, the accepted value exchange is money. You could simply steal it, but that is taking more value than you give and your problems will quickly mount. That’s the road to misery and hardship. So instead you come up with the money. Either that or you continue taking the bus.

To get the money, you do something valuable for someone or some organization. This is commonly referred to as a “job.” The more value you provide, the more value they are able to provide to the world because of your contribution and the more they’ll pay you. Regardless of your field, how much you get paid is based on the following:

Compensation received = value provided * number of people you can provide it to

Homeless people don’t provide value to anyone. In fact, since they’re always begging, harassing and being a general mess, they take more value than they give. I’d say most of them are full of misery and hardship. Not only that, depending on how much of annoyance they are, they bring misery to your day too.

There are jobs in customer service that anyone can do, but someone has to do, so they don’t pay very much because the value given is so low. Doctors provide an incredibly valuable service, but can only do it for one person at a time.  Professional athletes don’t provide something vital, but the number of people that can enjoy it at one time is astounding. This why they make so much money.

This is easy enough to understand when talking about cash but the next part is where everyone has slight struggles. Once you figure out what you want then you have to figure out what things of value to give. Your success is going to be based on how many people find value in what you contribute or create.

All marketing does is remind people what value they may derive from something. When people feel like your work or contribution isn’t worth the price you’re asking—when they feel like you are taking more value than you give—then you go broke. This isn’t just limited to money. Money is just the beginning.

The same principle applies in relationships. People want to be with you based on what value you provide to them. How you’re assessed is specific to their value system. Either you score highly in it or you don’t. It doesn’t matter whether the relationship is business, familial, platonic or romantic. If you don’t provide people with enough value, then you will find yourself lonely. Which person do you think is more valuable and thus more sought out for their company?

The person that always makes people laugh, provides an ear for their friend’s problems and rarely complains.


The angry critic, negative and judgmental and full of gossip. And let’s add self-centered for good measure, since these types tend to be.

One person will have an abundance of friends and confidants and one will not. One person adds value while the other takes it away. This idea can be extrapolated to other situations and it will always remain the same.

Abundance is the result of giving more value than you take.

Lack is the result of taking more value than you give.

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