"Strive not to be a success,
but rather to be of value."
-- Albert Einstein
Warren Buffett has said, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." Value is our reward in all exchanges. Or, at least we are intending to receive value. Yet, how often are we focused on providing value, being of service, sharing our knowledge, skills, and insights? Or, how about our love, time, energy, attention, touch, patience, kindness, purpose?
John F. Demartini, who wrote an important and extensive book on the subject of values, The Values Factor, The Secret To Creating An Inspired And Fulfilling Life, wrote of what he calls fair exchange. He says, "If you have difficulty receiving from others, this will impede your giving. And if you have difficulty giving, then this affects your receiving."
He goes on to say, "Any time that you imagine yourself giving something for nothing or getting something for nothing, you lower you perceived self-worth." What an interesting insight, I thought.
Fair value exchange is an idea. Money is an idea. That's why I put an image of shredded money on this post. I remember going to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C., to watch money being printed. In the gift shop, I bought several bags of shredded money to give away later. There it was in the bag: money all shredded up into something different than what we think of money being. It was worthless as legal tender, but I paid for it because I saw some kind of value in it.
There are many 'things' that can be exchanged for products and services, but in the end result, it is always an exchange of value. What I value. What the other values. This applies equally to relationships where we are constantly exchanging values with each other. Are we providing real value at a fair exchange? Or, perhaps one feels slighted in the exchange. The best exchange of value would be win-win, which is fair exchange.
I could be providing the best value on the planet and have people tell me that they don't value what I have to give. Perceived value is the rule. Again, the shredded money is still money, but it is generally worthless in that form, and yet it is sold in bags to people like me. I perceived value, they provided value, and a fair exchange took place.
Can I influence the perceived value of my products and/or services? Certainly. In a lot of different ways; however, in the end, it is the perceiver who determines the value regardless of the value displayed.
Value For Value. Value Is Given. And, Value Is Received. Fair Exchange.
Spread Some Joy Today--by thinking less of what you are receiving and more of what you are giving. Through giving, receiving is a fair exchange.