Value is anything that meets a need. The need satisfying attribute of value means that anything of value adds benefits to its possessor. It’s however important to stress that such need must not contravene the laws and regulation of the society. To this end, a drug baron that meets junkies’ need for a ‘fix’ cannot be said to be adding value!
The fact that anything of value adds benefits to its possessor is the foundation of wealth creation. This is because possessors of value would ideally trade only when what they receive in exchange for what they give is of higher value.
Since wealth creation is largely about leveraging on other people’s resources (value), it can be inferred that the building blocks of wealth creation are value recognition, value exchange and leverage.
What it means to recognize value
To recognize value is to know the things that would benefit other people. Such things are then exchanged for other things that are of perceived higher value. Being a person that recognizes value is therefore critical to becoming wealthy.
Though not all wealthy people are necessarily ‘value recognizers’, you can’t help creating wealth if you recognize value.
Value you need to recognize
There are four categories of value you need to recognize. The first is your own value. People’s lack of self-worth is the root cause of the problems we have in the world. We all need to know our own value before we can see value in other people.
In the Scripture, Jesus epitomized what it means to have self-worth. His response to people that maltreated Him was to pray that God should forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing. Can you imagine what the world will be like if everyone was like Jesus?
The second value you need to recognize is the value in others. Recognizing value in others is one of the most important skills for success. When you have this skill, your success rate at just anything increases exponentially. The hallmark of great leaders is that they recognize and utilize the value buried in others.
Thirdly, you should recognize value in intangibles. It’s said that ideas rule the world. This is where the developed countries have it over the underdeveloped countries. The African continent, for instance, has the largest deposit of natural resources (tangible resources), yet the continent is home to the poorest people. This is because most of the leaders of the countries in Africa are barren of productive ideas.
The richest and wealthiest people are people of ideas. To enhance the quality of your life, you too must become a collector of brilliant ideas.
Lastly, it’s imperative that you recognize the value in tangibles (physical goods). The fact that the bulk of trade done around the world is still in physical goods underscores the importance of recognizing value in tangible items.
The challenge of value recognition
The biggest challenge of value recognition and, invariably, wealth creation is ignorance. A large number of people are clueless as to what constitutes value. There are varying levels of ignorance. Some have value but they don’t know. For some, what they think is value doesn’t constitute value in the marketplace. Yet others have value, they know they have value but they’re not able to communicate their value. These levels of ignorance suffer the same fate: non-creation of wealth.
Consequence of being poor at recognizing value
At one extreme, being a poor ‘value recognizer’ will relegate you to the level of endless toil. Given the multiplicity of needs of every living being, anyone that’s unable to create an ever-increasing return on his / her resources will live a life of struggles. At the other extreme, not recognizing value will cost you your existence.
The Scripture says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matthew 7 verse 6). In effect, if, because of ignorance, you give your value to undeserving people, you risk being torn in pieces.
We heard the story of a pretty looking 24-year lady that was murdered in Lagos, Nigeria in July 2012. I consider poor value recognition ability as the cause of the lady’s death. Her enviable background includes the fact that she was the daughter of a retired General in the Nigerian Army. She was also a postgraduate student in the university. She was said to have parked her car in Abuja and travelled to Lagos a day before she was brutally murdered.
To imagine that a lady of the above-mentioned pedigree succumbed to the antics of some miscreants that she met on Facebook is incredible. While security agents are enjoined to do a lot more work to curb the activities of hoodlums, nothing much will be accomplished unless those whose lives are at risk recognize their value, take personal responsibility for their lives and employ protective measures.
Becoming a person who recognizes value
The good thing about the subject of recognizing value is that the required skills can be learned. We recognize value with the aid of our senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch). Some people have built successful careers on the strength of their ability to make good use of these senses.
However, the most important sense for becoming a ‘value recognizer’ is a perceptive mind (the sixth sense). This is particularly important with respect to intangibles. We can all train our minds to recognize value through deliberate efforts.
Value can be equated to life. The more valuable you are; the more enjoyable life becomes. Make every effort to recognize value in yourself, other people, tangible and intangibles, and you will never lack motivation for living. If this article has been of value to you, I will appreciate having your comment in the space provided below and don’t forget to share it with others. Encourage them to subscribe to receive weekly articles through the link: http://waleadeniranye.com.