Value: You’re Only As Good As What You Can Do For Others

May 30, 2018

A lack of value..

3:42pm – Thursday, January 19, 2017.  Classroom on the 3rd floor of my school in Gwangju, South Korea.


I can feel the blood volume increasing in my head and my temple throbs from stress.  I could probably hear the throbbing if it wasn’t for the cumulative screaming of 6 children.


Sometimes they pay me the morsel of respect by acknowledging me when I direct my voice, gaze and hand gestures at them.  Sometimes they don’t.


Whether it’s from a genuine lack of understanding or an utter lack of care.  I’ll probably never know.

Not all classes are like this.  In fact this one is almost the except to the rule.  It’s a combination of a bad age, bad English skills and a sausage fest of rowdy boys.


But regardless, it’s one I must endure 3x a week.


For the longest time I couldn’t understand why these kids wouldn’t just listen to me.  Who cares if I wasn’t giving them games to play.  I’m 3x their age and size. Respect me, you little fools.

Unfortunately because the reality is they probably can’t understand half of what I say and you can’t physically punish kids in academics any longer.  Something I’m not totally sold on some days.  When you’re an adult if you don’t shut your mouth when you’re told by a person more than twice your size, you run the risk of being physically struck.  What are we really teaching these kids.


Half jokes, aside.


The truth is..

Perhaps it was narcissism clouding my eyes.  But the real reason these little punks wouldn’t give me the time of day for more than a splitting moment of their attention is because I’m not offering them anything they want.  They see no value in learning English.  


Those kids didn’t care that I have a university degree, they don’t care how much money I’m worth, or how many books I read last year.  They only care what I can immediately offer them.  They value candy and games.


And since I haven’t been offering cookies, the opportunity to shoot toy guns or play baseball.. They don’t give a shit what I am trying to get them to do.


What I’ve learnt about kids thus far is that they are like tiny little adults, albeit stupid ones.  What really separates children from adults other than a lack of knowledge and experience is their complete honesty and inhibition by social norms of politeness.


You’ve gotta read this..

In our politically-correct-sensitive society we’ve become silenced to a raw truth about life.  This situation and realization brings me back to an excellent article I read last year.  Chances are you’ve already read it.  It’s called ‘6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person.’

The writer does a fantastic job of explaining this blunt actuality of life:


People don’t give a shit who you are, what you are, or your own thoughts about those aspects of you.  All they care about is what you can do for them.


Brutally honest.  Children would probably be the first to agree with the truth in that.


One of my favorite parts of the article, and one that hits home – probably because I love Fight Club – is:

“..some people want to respond to that speech with Tyler Durden’s line from Fight Club: “You are not your job.”

But, well, actually, you totally are. Granted, your “job” and your means of employment might not be the same thing, but in both cases you are nothing more than the sum total of your useful skills.. ..Tyler said, “You are not your job,” but he also founded and ran a successful soap company and became the head of an international social and political movement. He was totally his job.”

These kids don’t care that I’m the teacher.  I am simply not selling what they’re looking to buy.  The language barrier seals the deal of them not giving a shit.

This truth in life..

In the classroom, a box of cookies and a game can solve most of your problems with children.  The solution in real life with real consequences is a little more complex.


But really, not that much more complex.


Cookies and game time works to garner respect and attention from children because that’s what kids want.  When it comes to adults or situations in life, you just have to find out what someone or something’s motivators are, to get what you want.


That’s the basis of the sales profession; find what’s important to your buyer, what they want, then sell them what you’ve got in relation to that need or want.


That seems simple enough doesn’t it?  The harder part is what you’re selling.  If you don’t have anything of quality to offer, that’s the reason you’re spinning your tires.  


Whether you’re wondering why you aren’t getting promoted, why you aren’t in with a winning crowd, why you aren’t getting laid or aren’t getting whatever you think you should be.. Is because you don’t have, or aren’t displaying the skills and qualities necessary to getting those results.


Society is lookin’ for steak, and you’re selling spam.



Application of truth..

The bad news is, spam is the laughing stock of the meat world.  I’m not sure spam is even meat.  Likewise, if you offer nothing of value to the world.  The world gives not a fuck about you.  Especially if you’re a man.  Women can usually fare a bit better thanks to one of the main male motivators.


The good news, is you’re not condemned sell mystery substance spam forever.  Who you have been in the past and who you are today does not have to determine who you will be tomorrow or in the future.


If you want respect, power, money, freedom, love, etc.  You need to become a person of worth.  A person who can offer value.


There’s countless avenues of quality value you can offer the world.  


An important fact to remember; some routes have a better payoff than others.  There’s been a lot of talk in recent years of millennials and their dissatisfaction with the system.  Their lack of motivation and a perception of entitlement.  I think the culmination of all this is because we – I’m a millennial – have been chasing happiness and forgetting that it is value creation that we should really be after.


Happiness is fleeting.  Happiness is also a byproduct.  If you’re creating someone of value I can promise you happiness will be yours in abundance.


Here’s an article of why millennials are unhappy, despite trying to chase happiness over almost all else.


Here is also a lengthy but extremely well written article on effort and payoff, dubbed the millionaires math; Expected Value.


Concluding remarks..

It might hurt to hear, but the truth will set you free.  You’re only as good as what you can do for other people.  You are the value you create for others.


Don’t cry that you aren’t getting what you want.  Start to become the person that can offer something to others and you will get what you want.


Remember, any value offered is better than no value offered.  And the more value you can create for people the more of what you’ll want will come to you.  But not all value is respected equally.  Aim for quality.


Lastly, never underestimate the power of a free donut or cookie offered to someone you want something from.


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  • Currently located in China, teaching English and working towards Financial Freedom. I write about money, travel, personal development and more!


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