Finding Value in the Trash
Finding Value in the Trash
A little while ago, I was flipping through the newspaper when my perusing was interrupted by a headline. The headline engrossed my attention and had been capturing focus around the world. Here is what it said: “Germany sat on $1.4 billion find”.
Now, seeing a post like that, I slowed down to get the full picture. It was talking about the fact that German authorities had found about $1.4 billion worth of missing art confiscated by the Nazis and unearthed in the trash-filed apartment of an elderly Munich man. The works, by artists including Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall, among others, were estimated to be worth about $1.4 billion. German authorities had made the discovery about 2 years ago prior to this headline, but had kept the find a secret.
Art historians said that the cache of art is one of the most significant collections of art found anywhere, ever, in the whole world. All this treasure and value, discovered in a trash-filled apartment, kept secret from the world.
When I read that, I thought about the many people I have worked with over the years, who had an absolute treasure-trove of value stored in their lives. And some of them even felt as though their treasure was locked up, held in secret, trapped by the trash and dysfunction and pain of their lives. Though they had some sense that greatness and brilliance was within, their ability to develop this treasure, and share this value with the world was limited and even actively held back.
I know what this feels like from my own experience. For years, I felt as though I had value and worth trapped inside, unable to reveal this to the people around me and the world. Though inside, there was a whisper of significance and gifts I had to offer the world, the shout of dysfunction and trauma, pain and poor choices kept this beauty locked up inside, only coming out in obscured flashes from time to time. We need to get past the trash to the treasure and find a way to reveal our value to the world. And as coaches, we need to support those who want to unlock the treasure and step out from the trash.
If this describes what you are feeling at this moment, or feel at times; How can we begin to expose our value to the people around us? How can we coach and support others?
V – View: It all starts with you. How do you view yourself? To expose your value to the world, begin to view yourself correctly and not through the lens of the opinions of others. Other people and their opinions do not matter. All that really matters is how you see yourself and where you pull that view of yourself from.
A – Accept: To expose your value to the world, the next step is to Accept Yourself. This is a rock-solid promise you make to accept yourself, and to not compare yourself to others. When we compare ourselves to others, we use an unhealthy measuring stick and either end up putting ourselves down or puffing ourselves up. Thich Nhat Hanh is a monk who shared the following: “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” Mark Twain said it like this: “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
L – Love Yourself: To expose your value to the world, the step that follows is about Self-Love and Self-Care. Most spiritual leaders in the world, and particularly Jesus, spoke of, “Loving your neighbor as you love yourself”. Authentic spirituality teaches us to love others, and to love people as we love ourselves. Some of us love ourselves with dignity and health, and thus have something dignified and healthy to share in terms of love. Others do not love themselves, and so they have little that is dignified and healthy to share in terms of love. Love yourself. Cherish yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Find out what makes your heart sing, and then go ahead and take some time to write your own music!
U – Understand Yourself: To expose your value to the world, the next step is to Understand Yourself, including your Strengths and Weaknesses. Often, what we call “trash” and even dysfunction in our lives is simply our weaknesses shining through. When we understand and play to our strengths, we look good, and the value inside is unlocked. When we understand and mitigate our weaknesses, they don’t have the opportunity to hold back our value. For each one of us, there are people, places and positions which bring out our best, and there are people, places and positions which bring out our worst. Wisdom tells us to intentionally place ourselves in situations that play to our strengths, and to also avoid situations where our weaknesses can rise to the surface.
E – Elevate Your Performance: To expose your value to the world, the next step is to Elevate Your Performance. In other words, we need to put our game face on and execute at our very highest levels, consistently. How can the treasures of diamond and gold within get exposed if we are operating with tin and lead? This last key is all about our choices. Life is not a rehearsal, and so we need to make sure we elevate our performance in every season and situation. Here is a critical question: What will it take to get you to the next level? Put together a step by step plan and get there!
- What are the unhealthy beliefs and thinking you will shift to Elevate Your Performance?
- What are the habits you will form to Elevate Your Performance?
- What are the behaviors you will change to Elevate Your Performance?
- Who are the people you will partner with to help you Elevate Your Performance?
- What are you waiting for?
There is incredible treasure waiting inside each one of us. The world needs what you have. The dreams and inspiration and gifts and aspiration inside of you can light the way, heal the wounds, solve the problems, and meet the needs of many people. Let’s make a difference by exposing our value to the people around us!