Some of you will remember that comical moment in the movie Jerry Maguire when Rod repeatedly shouts “Show me the money, Jerry! Show me the money”. Seeing Jerry Maguire again made me think about how the tendency to equate earning power with self-worth is still endemic in our culture today.
Is it even based on value?
We seem to be more obsessed with the sizes of our pay cheques and the supposed status it brings rather than how meaningful and satisfying the work is. And what is more, remuneration is rarely even an indicator of value. Remuneration is often the result of temporary demand and supply dynamics and pricing power.
It is then not only flawed to elevate or denigrate oneself based on financial standing, but ultimately fundamentally self-limiting.
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We can be forgiven for buying into the money-status archetype of success, for it is all around us. It is something we are conditioned to accept through popular culture, education, advertising and even our friends and family. But each one of us has a choice in the matter. We do not have to make the error of measuring our self-worth by how much we earn.
We can make the choice to see ourselves for who we truly are. Each one of us an individual with unique qualities, skills and perspectives that has inherent worth. From such a place of unconditional acceptance, you can then begin to ask yourself; What am I really passionate about? What could I do that would give me fulfilment?
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to contemplate these questions. For many in the world, being able to secure the next meal is their most pressing concern. For those of us who are more fortunate, we owe it to ourselves to look more deeply at our lives.
We owe it to ourselves to question the voice that shouts “show me the money”. We owe it to ourselves the challenge the notion that our self-worth should be based on money.
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