30 Days of Writing, day 2: Base your self-worth on learning.

In my junior and senior years in college, I had absolutely nothing going for me (horrible grades, very few friends, and no money) that I based my self-worth off my greatest “strength” at the time, which was video games and Magic: The Gathering.

A really low point was when I was trying to construct a resume to look for a call center job after I had been expelled from my college—asides from the schools I attended, I couldn’t write anything.

No job would take someone with “Magic: The Gathering Friday Night Magic tournament winner” as one’s highest achievement.

From that moment on, I based my self-worth on something that I would be proud of: learning and having skills that can help me and other people. I started with learning how to speak neutrally-accented English and answering work interview questions, and just to prove that I would do whatever it takes to get into a call center, I only spoke English in the last 2 weeks before my planned job interview.

That seems like a million years ago, and I’m a completely different person now, but the strategy of “learn this, no matter what it takes” has been applied several times and thousands of hours over to learn programming, design, exercise/hiking skills, cycling, cooking/nutrition, public speaking, negotiating, marketing, and will be applied to accumulate and improve skills for the rest of my life.

Try to make your self-worth based on something that you actually care about: your sense of self-worth will be the backbone and the foundation of how you live your life. Basing your self-worth on other people’s approval, or money, or achievements and awards, or beauty would lead to you getting depressed when those things are taken away.

Feel free to also use learning/skill as a temporary or perhaps even permanent basis of self-worth: it’s something you can do every day, and something that accumulates beautifully with time. I hope this change brings as much value and contentment to your life as it has with mine.