Valuing Yourself – You vs. the World [Part 1]

By: Heero Yuy

bateman-relaxing

In this Four Part post I will explore how valuation is done on the individual and the difference between extrinsic, intrinsic, and universal perception of our worth in this world.

A Scene from American Psycho:

Evelyn Williams: Thousands of roses and lots of chocolate truffles. Godiva, and oysters in the half-shell.
Patrick Bateman: [Bateman narrating] I’m trying to listen to the new Robert Palmer tape, but Evelyn, my supposed fiancée, keeps buzzing in my ear.
Evelyn Williams: Annie Leibovitz. We’ll get Annie Leibovitz. And we’ll have to get someone to videotape. Patrick, we should do it.
Patrick Bateman: Do what?
Evelyn Williams: Get married. Have a wedding.
Patrick Bateman: No, I can’t take the time off work.
Evelyn Williams: Your father practically owns the company. You can do anything you like, silly.
Patrick Bateman: I don’t want to talk about it.
Evelyn Williams: You hate that job anyway. I don’t see why you just don’t quit.
Patrick Bateman: Because I want to fit in.”

Unfortunately, we will not discuss the movie American Psycho in full today as it is a topic for another day. However, we will explore the subject of conformity in today’s society and how we or society assigns us a value. For some, the valuation done by society is taken at face value equates to the value assigned by the individual to themselves. A few individuals disagrees with the way in which society values them and their talents and calculates their values differently. Both topics will be covered and differences expounded upon.

Part 1 – How Society and the World Values Us:

This video from The School of Life YouTube Channel best explains how society and our families (esp. Asian households) values most of us (9min video):

When asked about wealth the first thing that comes to mind is money for most people. They want to believe that the 1’s and 0’s stored in the database of various accounts accurately present your networth to this world. The universe cares not what your bank account statement says or most man-made metrics. What’s the worth of one small planet in a universe this vast? How much power can one man have on a one little rock if the entire rock is not even a speck of sand in the river of time?

Society values people and their net economic output and appropriately compensates them for their worth so that they can extract value from us in order to commoditize, market, distribute, and sell it to others for a profit.

The value assigned to you by your friends and families can also vary depending on how you were nurtured and which company of friends you keep. It can be either extremely motivating or powerfully destructive and this ultimately determines our outcome as a human being. We shall explore these ideas in depth in the following posts [Click for Part 2!].

Letting go of the Past – Time goes only one direction

By: Heero Yuy

mad-men

[Readers discretion: Has some dark and negative parts]

I have a habit of checking on people occasionally to find out how they are doing and to see what new things happened in their lives. An old friend of mine, Big V, was last seen in Japan with a beautiful lady settling into an apartment after his retirement from Active Duty service. My mind finished the thought by saying “And they lived happily ever after.” Sometimes it is good to check up on old friends because real life is rarely Hollywood or Disney. My friend Big V had to give up the Hollywood ending as an expat and turning down lucrative job offers to keep to his duties to take care of his family back home in the USA. Real life is filled with sadness and despair that isn’t captured on film after the credits start rolling on the screen.

Real life, as we find out daily, is filled with challenge, grief, and misery. We want to find that sense of happiness if only to see it on the screen while streaming Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Netflix. Why settle for what we have or don’t have in our lives when we can vicariously take our minds to experience distilled human emotions as projected by actors and actresses on the screen? It’s the constant medication for our insatiable miserable lives, right? It creates a sense of Nostalgia as illustrated by this scene from Mad Men. Entertainment is a pharmacy of infinite delusions with prescriptions to cure every single emotional malaise. We also can do this ourselves because we have a collection of past called our memory. We can always escape to the past experiences or emotions to run away from present realities and future worries.

Most of us have a hard time letting go because we have the Disney life of “Happily ever after” to play out in any circumstance or situation that we get into personally or professionally. It is impossible for every permutation of reality to be favorable in a one track simulation called this life (multi-universe and realities). The sooner we can let go or learn to let go the better off we become. The Sedona Method and the ideas within this book by Dale Dwoskin are tremendously beneficial for learning this fine art. Bruce Lee describes this very precisely by saying:

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

No matter if you go back to the past with that person in that exact place, wearing the same outfits, trying to recreate those emotions back then as you want to experience them today, it will never be the same no matter how hard you try. That is a curious thought because chemically and physically (DNA) we don’t experience a drastic change so if the scene is set in the right way we should technically be able to reenact that script from the past. Emotionally and mentally, however, we will never be the same and it’s that gap of the mind and heart with the passage of time that separates us from mere animals. My friend Big V and I discussed this very thing and we came to the conclusion that we have to let the past go to live in the present.

Professionally, it’s easy to lie to ourselves to think that the dream(s) is/are still alive and that we must keep chasing it. We often feel that we are entitled to success with more effort we’ve committed or sacrifices made so therefore the universe owes it to us. This is a fallacy and there are many other factors like luck, networking, and creativity that are key in conquest. Since we live in a one track world not one of infinite paths, it is therefore crucial to let go of the dreams that drag us down instead of elevating us. One of the best things I’ve realized this year is to know and understand myself better, know when to pursue an endeavor 100% and when to simply let it go. Letting go of losing positions is fundamental in investing as well so you don’t lose your entire cash position/liquidity so that you can invest in something with growth potential. Let go of the dreams, people, possessions, habits, lifestyles, perceptions, and other things that prevents true growth opportunities from blossoming.

Let it go and feel that weight come off of your shoulders.

George Clooney from Up in the Air.