Imagine getting your partner some flowers from the supermarket as a surprise. Let’s say for 5 €.
Now imagine getting them an expensive piece of jewelery. Let’s say for 5000 €
Both of them (hopefully) create some happiness, and a nice surprise for your partner.
But can the expensive piece of jewelery really elicit a 1000 x stronger emotional reaction?
I doubt it – the dynamical range of the emotional reaction would be too high in that case – the 5 € reaction would then be barely noticeable.
All value which is created is subjective value. Probably you’ve heard about the five love languages. Not everyone gives and receives love and value in the same way.
Investing our energy into making our partner happy is a worthwhile thing to do. As with everything, where life energy (time, money, creativity, and other resources) are concerned, it’s a good idea to think about how to do it in an effective way. Effective meaning, having the desired effect on the partner. Aligning what you do to their love language(s) is a good way, for example, to increase the value for your partner.
It’s time to say goodbye to the shortcut thinking of “the more time and money I put into it, the more it will be appreciated by my partner.”
This is a liberating thought as well – small things can mean a lot to our partner. A lot more, than other things which we might be doing where we really put a lot of effort into it.
Letting go of this direct connection between “I put in X effort” and “I want Y reward in return” will allow us to break free from trying harder when we get no result.
As Winston Churchill says, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
Focus on value
Another advantage of letting go of the idea of scaling effort (“I put in X effort to achieve Y result”) is the focus on increasing the results, instead of increasing the effort.
As an example, if you apply to many jobs, and put in more and more effort into applying, you are scaling the effort to scale your result.
Behind this result is a higher-level result you want to obtain.
Let’s say this is being appreciated, having an income, establishing yourself.
Could you possibly, instead of applying to many jobs (in a possibly very competitive environment) create a YouTube channel where you share topics which create value for a lot of people? Get appreciation from people thanking you in the comments? Establishing yourself as someone who is very knowledgeable in that area?
Maybe you’ve heard this before: “You don’t need to work harder, you need to work smarter. “
A strong focus on value is at the core of that sentence.
What does your partner value? What do the people in your life value?
Give them what they value, and what comes easy and naturally to you.
Find people who resonate, and are able to receive with what you are giving to them.
Accepting that people value different things, accepting moving on from some people
Another powerful idea is that not all people will value what you have to offer.
You might have excellent advice, powerful ideas which would transform and uplift other people. You might be desperate to share them with the people.
But many of them will not be ready to receive it. They will not value your ideas.
It’s important to understand that value is created in interaction between a person and something or somebody else. And value is super-subjective.
I don’t care for expensive handbags, expensive cars, soccer, or basketball. You would need to offer me a steep discount on these items – in some cases I would even refuse to take it for free (as I don’t want to “waste” my time and energy). I’m not the right person to value this.
If you’re a very caring person, and you want to support your partner – and your partner is not resonating with this, listen up: It’s not you – it’s them.
Your partner has a value system of your own.
And you will be happiest if both of you share the value systems, in the sense of that both of you are able to share and receive value in a way which is meaningful to both of you!
Don’t be fooled – people look very similar to each other, but they all have different ideas of what is valuable, of things which mean something to them.
How do you discover what people value?
Easy – talk to them. See what makes their eyes light up.
Find out who they are, and what they need. Think if you’re the right guy or right girl to be able to give it to them.
Don’t forget about your needs, and what you value, too – it’s an exchange of energy after all!