Be careful of where you get value from
When you travel a lot for work you dream of flying business class but for some reason the company I work for thinks cattle class will suit me just fine, hey, I’m not one to complain. Last week I was flying to Canberra and I somehow managed to get an upgrade to business class. I was like a kid at Christmas as my body melted into my big, roomy, comfortable leather seat. The nice flight attendants came round with my preflight drink as I tested out the extra leg room I was getting. I was in travellers heaven.
At first I didn’t realise that something had changed in me. After an hour into the flight when people from economy class started coming through to use the toilet, I noticed that I was doing something I would never do, I was feeling that I was better than them because I was in business class. I was getting value through my ego, or maybe self-esteem is a better phrase, because of my position on the plane. Once I realised I was doing this I had to stop myself. I was building my esteem based on the fact that people would think I must be important or rich because of where I was seated on the plane. The irony is, it was through sheer luck that I had been upgraded and normally I would be sitting with these very people.
This highlighted to me that we need to be careful of where we get our value from. I wasn’t a better person because I was in Business Class and it would be dangerous for me and those around me if I started to believe that. We need ways to build our self-esteem in life but we need to do it in a way that isn’t harmful to others, is based on our own values and is a response to the behaviors we have in our day to day life.
When we get value from things that are dangerous for us, like feeling superior to others because of a seat position, we can be lead down a path that takes us away from our true core values. We can also lose the opportunity to learn from others as we find we may be disregarding them for the wrong reasons.
Look at where you get value from. Does this promote your true core values and does it help your world be a better place? This may be a hard thing to do but the benefits are massive.