Your net worth is not your self-worth.
Ultimately, your bank account and net assets are a reflection of your ability to create things the economy values, and there is a loose correlation between the balance of the accounts of your impact (positive and negative) and that on your wealth. The monetary is a reflection of your decisions up to that point, and it is never set in stone.
I know people that have been extraordinarily lucky (both positively and negatively), who don’t deserve what they have gotten. Marrying into wealth, or buying a lottery ticket that wins $100 million, or trying to help someone change a tire and getting hit by a drunk driver and killed. There is a non-deniable amount of fickleness to the Universe, and the constant randomness generally balances out over a lifetime such that people get what they deserve over their lifetime, even if it takes decades to fully be reflected.
An example: your body is for the most part a physical representation of your choices. If you stay out drinking until late o’clock, that hangover is a short-term feedback loop on the poor decision. The extra thirty pounds is too. Or the energy from regular exercise. The leading killer in the US is cardiovascular disease, the result of decades of choices. Cancer is near the top of the list, and many varieties are direct results of lifestyle choices compounding over the years.
Many people who have had that cancer scare, who have had that heart attack, radically change their lifestyle because their body is suddenly paying the price for the years of self-abuse and negative health balances. The individual decisions about diet and exercise and other factors of health get altered overnight, and in a few months and years are reflected in the body. A mostly new person, because the previous choices still linger for good or ill.
Today your balance sheet may say that you are worth a ton, or that you don’t have a pot to piss in. It’s not permanent. Few self-made millionaires (or billionaires) have avoided the rough patches where they have been so down on their luck they were sleeping on friends’ couches and wondering how they were going to survive. From Rockefeller to Musk, hard times were and are inevitable in creating financial wealth, the same way that injuries happen to all athletes or fights in a relationship. Not giving up in those moments is critical to ensuring that the right processes and choices have time to come to fruition, that the relationships and companies can prosper.
“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” Jack Dempsey
Maybe you crawled into a bottle for a bit. You can come out of it, and make better choices today. And as those who fight for their sobriety know: they don’t have to be perfect for the next three decades, they just have to make the right choices today.
Maybe you put on the Covid 19, or still have your Freshman 15. You can make the better, healthier choices today. Less sugar, more exercise. Not an ultramarathon, but a bunch of small victories throughout the day today. Then tomorrow.
No need to try and make a million bucks today to alter your financial situation. Small, better decisions on spending, both monetary and time. Where are your resources going, and are they being used in a way that future you will give a thumbs up to or regret?
Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism proclaimed “Well being is made up of small things, but is no small thing.”
Microdecisions throughout your day determine if you are calorically negative or positive for the day. Days turn to weeks and months. 100 calories a day is roughly a pound a month, thirty pounds over two and a half years for the decision that you are about to make about what to put in your body.
Microdecisions of how you will act in your career or business in the next five minutes will influence whether you are better or worse off at the end of the day financially. Which do you choose?
The microdecisions of how you interact with others influence the health of your relationships. Are they strengthening or weakening?
What little choices are you making to be better, or to be worse?
Self-worth is a direct correlation to our choices. Good choices (especially when not easy) ultimately lead to being able to hold our head higher and the ability to look the person in the mirror unflinchingly right in the eye and smile. It makes you feel like a million bucks.
And that well-grounded positive feeling from doing the little things right will someday be reflected in the mirror and the bank account. Because you determine your worth.