Do you do a good job of valuing yourself?
During my corporate life of 30+ years, I won many awards.
Some awards were more significant than others.
The Chairman’s Award for Quality
The award plaque that you see in the picture represents a high point in my career when I won The Chairman’s Award for Quality. This award was in recognition of my contribution to a key project that competed globally.
I still remember the time when the official announcement came and how I shared the news with my family. There was a surge of excitement at home, and my father – true to his nature – wanted to know more about the project. I tried my best to simplify – please read as dejargonize – the goals of the project and my contribution to it in a way that could make sense to him. By the way, he was a global man, having worked at the Italian Embassy for over 40 years by then. I could sense that cocktail of emotions in him. My mother too was very proud of this milestone of mine.
Rediscovering the Award
Lately, I have been on a spring-cleaning spree at home. A lot of stuff had got collected over time and I felt it was high time that I paid some focused attention to this task.
While cleaning one of the cabinets, I stumbled upon this plaque. While I held it in my hands, I recollected the project, the organization, its Leaders, my team, and my colleagues. I went back in time when I was explaining the context to my starry-eyed family while ‘showing off’ this plaque to them. Even today, it felt great.
However, I knew that the plaque’s time was long over.
Glory & history!
My Quote #89 says, ‘Just as yesterday’s glory is today’s history, the glory we enjoy today will become history.’
I came up with the above Quote as my wife and I were returning after visiting Hampi in Karnataka.
Hampi was one of the richest and largest cities in the world during its prime. It was part of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Vijayanagara Empire boasted a massive army comprising close to a million men. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara had about 500,000 inhabitants, making it the second largest city in the world after Beijing and almost thrice the size of Paris.
As we walked around the area, we saw the remnants of palaces, temples, deep water tanks, pits, decorative stone doors, lattice windows, and pilgrim rest houses.
The glory of yesteryears lay in ruins. Hampi’s time of glory was long over.
My 2nd innings
Today, as an independent Consultant and Coach, I am in my career’s second innings.
My era of receiving such plaques is clearly over. But then, my era of accomplishments is not. Only now these plaques come in different shapes and forms.
For instance, when a client thanks me – as a Career Coach – when I prevented her from rushing headlong into quitting her well-paying job by helping her think through a few next steps, that’s a plaque for me.
When a senior Leader – who is a great technical expert – feels that I helped him pause in his career and begin focusing on building his hitherto neglected Brand, that’s a plaque for me too.
When, during a Life Coaching session, a client suddenly sees a shaft of light in an otherwise dark surrounding, that’s a plaque.
When, at an event, people walk up to me and recognize me from my writing, isn’t that recognition also a plaque?
So, what am I saying?
- Never retire from Life.
- Our contribution to this world needs to continue, plaque or no plaque.
- We can continue to receive plaques if we view the word, plaque, as a metaphor to mean recognition, including rewarding self. It’s about valuing yourself!
- We don’t have to necessarily depend on others to award us a plaque. Sometimes, our work may not be known to or recognized by others.
- We can create our own methods of rewards which means we can craft plaques for ourselves.
By the way, for many years, I have had a habit of rewarding myself for my accomplishments whether I am recognized by others or not. It could be something as simple as buying a book or having a meal at my favorite restaurant. How’s that for valuing yourself? Recently, I won a big corporate contract. I am currently looking for a suitable ‘plaque’ to reward myself.
- Every plaque, howsoever coveted, eventually loses its sheen. Instead of berating its loss, we can keep winning new ones as long as the word, plaque, is viewed as a metaphor.
What about you? Are you fair to yourself? Do you reward yourself enough?
What has been your most recent accomplishment? Did you receive public recognition? If this accomplishment was not recognized by others, what ‘plaque’ did you award yourself?
Because at the end of the day, whether you are enjoying the full glare of publicity or have receded into the shade, what continues to matter is how much you value yourself.
So, coming back to the question, do you do a good job of valuing yourself?
As a Career Coach & Life Coach, I also help individuals realistically value themselves. I work on a model called, Futuring. Interested? You can reach out to me at [email protected].