It’s been my biggest struggle for some time now. We are all human or at least thats what we tell ourselves to get though the day. We may be something more than human, but thats an argument for another day. This isn’t to get all philosophical on you, but this is something that has been on my mind recently. There’s one thing that I struggle with on a daily basis, and when I tell you, I bet a lot of you struggle with it too.

I’ve always been a fan of Ayn Rand, though I don’t see a eye-to-eye with Ms Rand’s philosophy; she’s onto something. There was a line in Atlas Shrugged that hit me pretty hard; “Value for value.” Its something lost in this society nowadays, everyone wants something for nothing and wants to deal in exchanges that are a rip off. How can it be done faster? How can it be done cheaper? How can I get away with doing less work today?

Old world habits of hard work, integrity and offering the best product possible seem to be lost in the world today.

I always try to offer the highest value exchange possible, always reminding myself that is an ethical issue to do so. The funny part about that, on a daily basis, I’m always questioning if I’m doing enough. I always get told by those that receive my value exchanges that I go above and beyond and really produce an awesome end product. However, I have this in-born, competitive voice that tells me I need to do more and I need too do better.

Its good and its bad because it causes me to always feel the need to improve and to be the best that I can be; not always the expert but able to offer the highest possible value exchange.

The way I’ve come to grips with it and solved my issue, for the most part, is a matter of viewpoint. I have learned to look at my exchange as the person on the end of it receiving my value. Would it be enough for me? Am I being the best leader I can be? Would I want to be led by me? If the answer is yes, then I’m headed in the right direction.

Like the Stoics, I’ve learned that I cannot always control the world but I can control my reaction to it. I choose to offer value above value, the highest possible exchange that I can.