Interesting connection between two consecutive stories on BBC Breakfast this morning. The sports update finished with Gary Anderson winning the World Match Play Final and was immediately followed by the ‘finance’ segment discussing the imminent announcement of the “Love Island” winner (I don’t really know what that means, but the TV folk seemed excited).
For Anderson it was mentioned that he was taking away prize money of £115,000, but for those about to return from being stranded on an island, the conversation was about how the winner (and other participants) could monetise their new found ‘fame’.
It’s become an obsession to see things in terms of their worth, not their value.
Qualifying for the UEFA Champions’ League is a success because of the millions of pounds it generates for the club concerned. As the Wimbledon Champions hold their silverware above their heads, you’ll hear “along with a cheque for………”. We have the Forbes’ Richest Man/Woman list, which serves no purpose other than to stir up envy.
Is wealth the only measure of success? What’s so wrong about just being good at something?
I’ve written previously about being proud of your achievements, no matter how small they may appear to others. They may not have a cash value, but are still be very, very important.
If we continue to see money as a primary outcome for an individual’s efforts, we will lose sight of the other drivers that keep us moving forward: yes, I’ll mention pride again, but add in boosting self-esteem, rewarding resilience, being a role model and having a purpose. You can get all those and still not be a penny better off.
We risk getting to the stage that if there is no monetary gain, we will just not bother putting in what may be viewed as disproportionate effort. Cynicism will reign, and as a society we will be very much the poorer for it.
Oscar Wilde called it over 120 years ago. A cynic, he wrote, “knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”.
Celebrate your successes. Value them for what they are. Money might make the world go round, but your world revolves around a lot more.