How To Value Things in Life

I recently visited the charming city of Berlin, where I overheard a thought-provoking story from a philosophy lecturer whom I much admire. I want to share this story for your reflection.

A mature father gave his oldest son a watch that had been passed down from father to son for numerous generations.
The father said, “Son, this watch is a family heirloom which has been passed down from father to son for over two centuries. Before I give it to you though, go to the new watch shop in town and enquire as to how much our family heirloom is worth.”
The son did what his father asked, then came back to his father and said, “The watch shop owner told me it’s worthless because the watch isn’t a contemporary designer brand”.
The father replied, “Go to the local charity shop and ask the store manager what the watch is worth.” The son followed his father’s instruction, and when he came back, replied: “The charity shop said they wouldn’t even try to sell the watch as it’s too old.”
The father finally said, “Now go to the museum and show that watch”.
The son did followed his father’s orders, then came back and said to his father “I can’t believe it …. they offered to pay over $200,000 for this piece!”
The father said, “Right then, so it’s essential that if we want to learn the real value of something, we don’t ask those who don’t know HOW to appreciate valuable things.”

Understanding the Value of Something

Sometimes we place value on things that turn out to be not so valuable, and then other times we underestimate something that we should have valued and taken far more seriously than what we did.
I’ve always been a believer that having ideas just stowed away in the back of our minds doesn’t serve us too well. Yes, it’s great to ponder and deliberate over things, like letting new ideas simmer.
I’ve come to realise that releasing our ideas into the world is one of the most valuable things we can do. Whether we share our thoughts through discussing with friends, writing an article or even creating a short video, as soon as we share our ideas with others, it is they who get to decide how valuable our offerings are.
Sometimes, we won’t fully appreciate the value of what we’ve learned so far in life until we share what we’ve learned with other people.
Many people only see what they are ready to see.

“A life is not measured by years lived, but by its usefulness. If you are giving, loving, serving, helping, encouraging, and adding value to others, then you’re living a life that counts!”

– John C. Maxwell


Kain Ramsay
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As an established teacher of personal and professional growth principles, and a champion of mental well-being, Kain Ramsay is regarded as one of the world’s foremost thought leaders of modern applied psychology.