Status; your job, your income, the car you drive. Society, life and maybe even your old college friends tell you that this trio is where you get your value from. Well, dear millennial, most of us don’t even have one of those. Does this mean there is no value in what you are doing right now? Does that mean that the joy you get from working at a volunteering position or the sense of satisfaction you feel from a personal creative project is of no value?
Acquiring all value from materialism is problematic and here is why. Often time’s people do not realise that the happiness you get from the big three is not just luxury but security. There is value in not having to worry about paying the rent this month. There is value in it because it takes off a huge amount of the anxiety. You’ve heard the saying; money can’t buy happiness. Of course that’s only half true, because I sure as hell get happy when my phone contract is up and I can finally get a newer more expensive phone that is only marginally better than the previous one. I get happy when I buy some awesome sweatshirts, or sneakers. I am far away from being a monk who abstains from all materialistic needs, sits in a forest, far away from civilization, preferably under a waterfall, just chilling with his soul or something.
Real value is genuine happiness that cannot be derived from material things; it comes from within you, relationships you have and new experiences. The rest are add-ons, simple benefits and sometimes we forget that. We forget that when we struggle to make ends meet, we forget it when our old classmates are travelling the world and seemingly just synthesise money at home. We forget it when we haven’t had a holiday in years and we forget it when our old Uni mates have just bought their first home. Because seeing all these things make you feel like you’re stagnant however you are anything but.
Every single day, you get up and help your mum with the housework, chip in for the utilities, volunteer, write, read, apply for jobs. In short, you are undergoing self-improvement. Because every day you make an active decision to not sit around and wait for things to change on their own. Every day you wonder how to make your situation better, how to make your CV prettier and how to make employers pay attention. Every day you fight with your own insecurities and every day you go out of your way to not just work but enjoy the day, whether that is with a cuppa, a night out or binge watching an entire season of Friends. You go out of your way to pick yourself up when you feel low and then keep going when tomorrow arrives. You are telling me there is no value in you?
It’s time to redefine value because you don’t value your friends or family for their money. You value them for their personality, their humour, their unconditional love and support. It’s time to pick up a mirror and find all these things that you also embody; kindness, ambition, intelligence and more. Don’t you feel a sense of pride when you get a good grade at school? It’s different from the happiness you feel when getting a new IPhone for your birthday and I know you’d pick the iPhone over a good test result any day. If you think about it however, you will find that the test result reflects your hard work and intelligence, while that iPhone reflects your parents’ wallet.
Here is the point dudes and dudettes; you are doing fine, better than fine. All things considered, you are exceeding expectations and making that choice to carry on, on a daily basis; that’s gold.