Thought of the Day: Being Valued Versus Mattering
You have probably heard people say they don’t feel like they matter. Of course, feeling and actually being are two different things, but that’s not what I want to talk about. As you may have gathered from the title, the thoughts on my mind today are the differences between being valued versus mattering.
Let’s break it down.
Mattering is typically referring to whatever you are doing or you are and the impact that has on those around you. We ALL matter. We ALL have an impact on those around us and hopefully, that impact is good.
Being valued, however, is different. It typically is defined by those around you; where mattering is a direct result of you, being valued is an indirect result of how you’re treated by those around you. For example, if you do a good deed that impacted a lot of people, you made a difference in a good way and that mattered. If those people appreciated it and expressed their gratitude towards you, you felt like that deed, no matter what you did, was valued and therefore you felt valued.
I’d like to share with you now what actually inspired me to write this because I feel it’s important.
Today at my college there was an open house and there where lots of prospective students touring campus. Lots of the students already attending college here, including myself, had “jobs” to help make everything go smoothly as people walked through different areas and experienced a little bit of what college is like here. My job was to take photos. Now, I deliberately made an effort to help today — I didn’t have to. Many students received extra credit in class or maybe were even required to help, I’m not sure how individual instructors went about things, but all I know is that no one asked me to help. I enjoy helping and although I was hoping to give tours, I got the job of taking photos, which still was an enjoyable job as there was lots of flexibility and I pretty much could go anywhere and do anything I wanted. That part was really cool — and I still was able to interact with a lot of the tour guides, prospective students as well as faculty and staff.
I feel I worked hard to get a camera for this job. I couldn’t get access to either of the two journalism cameras here at the school. One is a Nikon D200 with an external flash and two lenses and the other is a Canon HD video camera. Both were absent and although I have an idea where they might be, I honestly don’t know. I tried getting in contact with the faculty instructor for the journalism team, which I’m in charge of, and never did hear from him. So that pretty much rules out any top notch and high quality media. After I decided that I couldn’t do any more to change that, I went to my next option, which was a Canon point and shoot — nothing fancy.
Here’s the part that bothers me. Throughout the day today, I worked hard to get around the chaos, get as good of pictures that I could and try to get everywhere on campus. Sure our campus isn’t huge, but walking everywhere and just trying to track people down in the right areas at the right times was still really difficult… especially for one person. It would have been nice to have some scouts out telling me where to be and what’s happening where.
Despite all the effort though, from getting a good camera to going all over campus getting photos, I honestly don’t feel like that was valued or that I was valued. I wasn’t compensated for lunch today. I wasn’t really told “thank you for what you’re doing Aaron.” I wasn’t asked if there was anything I could be helped with. And after the open house was done and I was kind of just standing around… I didn’t really feel like I made a difference.
This is what brings me to the difference between being valued and mattering. Did I make a difference and matter today? Yes absolutely. This school doesn’t have a lot of photos and it’s something that they need more of… it’s also something that I’m planning to continue to do. However, did I feel like I was valued today? Not at all!
And, honestly, I wonder how many students feel the same. Maybe some were compensated more than I was, but that brings me to my next point. I often feel like because I’m not the “traditional” student, meaning one who gets awesome grades, is in the “two years here then graduate and get away” program, and went about their time here the “planned” way, I’m often not considered in the same caliber. To me it makes no sense. I have been an RA (and I feel a good one as I don’t drink or party and I was the ONLY RA in the residence hall at that time). I have been a Student Ambassador and many of my recruits did/are doing very well here. I’m Parliamentarian on Student Senate and take leadership roles throughout campus. I am also the head editor and president of the journalism club… oh and did I mention I’m the only student that puts the publications together and the “team” is just me and one other faculty member who is the adviser? Well I’m that too. I also am getting one minor and my major includes two emphases.
So why wasn’t I chosen to be an RA when I applied two separate times? Why am I not chosen to give tours through campus as I have so many other times? Why haven’t I been able to find any work study available to make money with the numerous things I do throughout campus. I am constantly offering to help, yet seldom compensated for my efforts here at this college. This I feel is a huge downfall. I’ve built up relationships with the Associate Dean, Residence Hall Manager, Recruiting Officer and several other high positions on campus and usually give them feedback about what’s working and what doesn’t, or ideas about things that could be done to improve campus, but often I don’t feel like those really matter.
I would think a college would want every student to be that involved, and I’m not saying I’m the only one, but there are very few of us who are. Why am I not getting anywhere with my efforts? Is it me or is it the college not valuing what I do? Is a combination? Am I just expecting too much? I am quite honest with myself and don’t mind assessing my faults. If I, or someone else, sees a fault in me then I try to make the appropriate adjustments for a positive change.
Those are my thoughts and feelings for today and I know it was long, but if you read this whole thing, I greatly appreciate and value that. I hope you, as a friend and follower, feel valued. That has always been my goal: to make those around me feel valued. I do value my education, instructors and this college here, but I don’t necessarily feel I am valued in return. I don’t think any dean of any college would want to hear those words from any student, so if this does happen to cross the dean of this college’s path, hopefully it will make a difference.
Thanks for reading and have the best day of your life today!
Quite a Productive Day
Yesterday I had probably the most productive day all semester. What caused this huge increase you may be asking… well the lack of the internet/computer does wonders. I had to send my laptop to the insurance company to get fixed (not sure what it’s life expectancy is) and at first I was really freaking out! I had no internet!!
But then I realized all the stuff I could get done. It began by putting away some stuff like wires, wireless keyboard, etc. that I wouldn’t be needing for a while. Then it moved to laundry, dishes, organizing drawers, making my bed, sweeping the floor etc.
But I didn’t just clean my room, I also worked out for the first time all year… actually all SCHOOL year, if not longer. It felt great and terrible at the same time. I used a machine called the “climber”, which does exactly what the name implies — emulates climbing. I also did some ab workouts and strengthening exercises for my pretty-much-crippled-shoulder. Then I made myself run 1 mile after all that. Just for the record I can’t remember the last time I ran. I was a cross country in high school, so my senior year was the last time I ran competitively, but even just for exercise I can’t remember.
Then after I basically died and came back to life, I hung out with a friend and we had some good conversations.
Overall, great day! I am looking forward to no laptop/constant access to the internet for a while. So that means I won’t be blogging a lot, but I still should be able to some here and there.
Thanks for reading and I hope you guys have the best day of your life today!
“Make today the BEST day of your life, because there is no good reason not to.”
— Yo Pal Hal (aka Hal Elrod)
Image via Wikipedia
This quote is one of my favorites and when I saw it again today, it got me thinking and this is where I got:
There might be skeptical and pessimistic people out there. who call themselves “realistic”, that say it’s not possible to have the BEST day of your life because… blah blah BLAH.
Well you know what? Maybe if they’d stop making excuses and finding reasons why they shouldn’t have a good day and instead used that energy into doing their best to have a good day, they WOULD have a good day. But not just a “good” day as in “How was your day?” “oh good.” No… the BEST day of your life!
Why NOT? Seriously… though.
Why would we want to go through a day with any other intention other than striving to have the best day we can? You know, people do all these “time management” strategies to make the most out of the little time in a day, but going through a day upset, flustered, stressed, miserable is the true waste of time.
So it’s too late to start today the best (well maybe not for some of you in other parts of the world reading this), but END with the best. Do everything you can to end today the best way you can. Allow that to carry you over into tomorrow, but I promise you it won’t be easy and you’ll have to work hard to keep that energy going. No doubt does a good night create a good morning and a good morning a good day, but most of the time those “good mornings and good days” are when nothing goes wrong. Hal didn’t say “Make today the PERFECT day of your life…” No. He said the BEST day of your life! That means there WILL be things that test you. There will be trials and struggles and misfortunate events. If there wasn’t we’d have a perfect world and a perfect life and we all know that won’t ever happen. With that said, I feel “perfect” is a perception and an expectation and with each person it’s different. For someone that doesn’t have much, the perfect day might be payday, for others who have a lot, it might be a cruise. But all those things are physical things that don’t truly make the day perfect. Like I said it’s a perception. What really makes the “perfect” or “best” day (note: those are not interchangeable) is YOU. You are the only one who can decide. There will always be bad things that happen, but it’s how we react to those things that define whether they will control us or we will control them. If they control us, we won’t have a good day. In fact, we’ll have a TERRIBLE day. But if we react in a way that allows US to take control, our day may not be perfect, but it will be much nicer and if we have the intent on still having the BEST day of our life, we just might!
Now it’s impossible to expect every day to be the best day of our life — that’s not the point either, and frankly that’s like asking to be disappointed. All Hal is saying, if I interpreted right, is that we need to STRIVE and do our best to have the best day today. Not tomorrow. Not when things get better. But strive TODAY to do our best. And if we do our best, there’s no reason to be upset about the bad things that may have happened that day that were out of our control. My philosophy is, if we have done everything we can in our power to make the best of a situation, negative or positive, then we shouldn’t be stressed or worried about the outcome. We’ve done everything we can so why let it control us? For example: If you got up extra early for an interview. And you even left earlier than you normally do. But there was an accident on the road that made you 20 minutes late. Why get upset? It wasn’t YOUR accident. First, there are people that day that will have it worse than you do. Second, if your interviewer doesn’t have compassion for that situation, you probably don’t want the job anyway. Granted that is just one example so don’t get caught up in it, but it is just so apparent to me that people worry too much about what they can’t control instead of what they can — myself included and I’m working on that. And to any of my friends that read that and think I’m pointing fingers and referring to them, I’m not. We all struggle to some degree, but it’s about minimizing that in our life and focus on what really matters: Family, close friends, our Faith, principles, etc. Those are the things that if we focus on, will help us have the best day of our life today and every day.
Anyways, these were just my thoughts today inspired by the quote in the title which I saw this morning. I hope you all have the BEST night of your lives and continue that into the next day to have the BEST DAY of your lives.
Note to self: when drinking water, wait until lips have made contact with bottle before tilting.
That moment when you go on Facebook to add a friend you “just met” and realize you are already “friends”. DOH!
Worse is when you see you’ve already sent messages back and forth to each other… sigh.
At this point, you probably shouldn’t tell that person you completely forgot you knew them… it doesn’t really start off a friendship in a good way.
Where you are is a result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be. Make the choice today to be better than you’ve ever been before.
I guess hurting my shoulder wasn’t bad enough… had to get a cast too.
Actually we were learning how to put on and take off casts in Nursing lab today. Seeing that I’m a vet tech student, it’s kinda a helpful skill. I was very pleased with how mined turned out—not the one on my arm, but the one I actually did on someone else.
You can’t prevent bad things from happening. Learn to shrug.
This was incredibly moving and touching. I couldn’t stop reading it. And as I read it, parts almost brought tears. Reading about how Steve “achieved death” was also uplifting to me. It’s something we all face and I must say, I’m not ready, but we should be. I should be.
As I read about his last breaths, words and times with his family, I thought back to my Grandpa, laying there, breathing slowly on a December morning. I realized today was the day. It wouldn’t be long.
A Note to My Shoulder
Dear My Left Clavicle,
Some days I just get completely annoyed/tired/sick/fed up with my shoulder hurting.
Can you just go back to normal now? I got the hint. I won’t play tackle football anymore :) Okay? …well MOST of the time. On rare occasions I still might, but still! Can you just go back to being your good ol’ clavicle-self doing whatever clavicles do… I know they do a lot of work with making shoulders operate correctly.
I posted a photo, but for those who prefer not to see it I put in a page break. So click “read more” to view the photo.
The One That Angers You, Controls You. Don’t Give Anyone That Power… Especially The One Who Does It Intentionally
Hard Experiences vs Touching Songs — Sometimes It Takes One to Understand the Other
The song I’m referring to is Heaven by 3 Doors Down (If you’re like me and you need lyrics to truly follow it, you can find them here). The song is about looking back realizing that he was so consumed with the problems and their severity, that he forgot about the things that really mattered and how he wish he could just go back now realizing that what he had all along was sufficient enough to get him through the struggles no matter how tough they where.
I liked the song the first time I heard it, but didn’t understand what it meant until just listening to it now after going through an experience this weekend. That experience was knowing someone who took their own life. A life that belonged to a father, husband, doctor and great friend.
Some knew of his depression. Others, like me, never knew anything of it. In my short time I knew and interacted with him, he was a hillarious, caring and kind person. Part of me can’t even believe it happened. MOST of me can’t believe it happened. I try to picture this amazing father and man to someone so depressed they’d get low enough to not want to live anymore. I can’t. No matter how hard I try to understand it, my mind won’t let me comprehend how both can coincide in the same body. The same mind.
I found out from a friend Saturday night, the same night he took his life. Her father, also a doctor, tried to reach out to him and help him, letting him know that if he ever got that low to call. I can’t imagine being there in that place. Simply knowing someone who took their own life is hard enough, let alone being a son, daughter, wife, husband or very close friend.
My thoughts are with those in mourning. Seeing what this truly does to a family has made me realize how much each one of us—each of us—matter to people. It has just reinforced my belief more to not only live each day like it’s our last, but treat everyone else like it’s their last day too. If we do that, we won’t have any regrets. Sure we can’t expect to never have any, but why not strive for that?
Those are my thoughts. I hope you enjoy the song.
Ugh. I am guilty of being “too nice”. Now I’m “too screwed”.
Definitely experienced the “OMG YOU ARE SO AMAZING. YOU’RE MY COMPUTER HERO!”
AKA: I’m so glad you’re a tool and will do all this for free because I’ve scared everyone else away.