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How Much Are You Worth? by Earl Nightingale

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Before the atomic age, chemistry professors used to say that a person’s worth, from a strictly chemical standpoint, was about $32 on the ...

Before the atomic age, chemistry professors used to say that a person’s worth, from a strictly
chemical standpoint, was about $32 on the going market. In recent years, this view has undergone a startling change. Scientists now calculate that if the electronic energy in the hydrogen atoms of your body could be utilized, you could supply all the electrical needs of a large, highly industrialized country for nearly a week.

A Du Pont scientist said that the atoms of your body contain a potential energy of more than 11 million kilowatt-hours per pound. By this estimate, the average person is worth about $85 billion.

Moreover, the electrons in the atoms of your body are not just particles of matter; they are waves of living energy. And these waves ripple out and spread themselves in patterns of light, and as they move, they sing! If you had the proper hearing aid, you could hear a great flow, merging with the waves of neighboring atoms. Not only do they sing; they shine. If you would stand in front of an infrared television camera in a completely dark room, the screen would show you, from top to toe, as a glistening radiating, gleaming form.

In short, you’re a whole lot more than meets the casual eye. Add to all this the fact that to try to reproduce your mind mechanically would cost many billions of dollars, and you begin to see yourself for what you really are: an amazing, infinitely valuable creature. And not only are you immensely valuable as a human being, but you also are unlike any other human who ever lived, or ever will live. You are unique.

Now, what are you selling all this for? All human beings are priceless, but the payments – tangible and intangible – they receive from life vary greatly. The purpose of this message is to help you decide just what you’re worth as a human being right now, on the market, in today’s society; and what you intend to be worth, say, oh, five years from now.

In the last analysis, every person is, in reality, in business for himself, in that he is building his own life, regardless of who happens to write his paycheck. So, for the purpose of this message, I want you to think of yourself as a business – as, let’s say, a corporation.

You hold the office of president of this corporation, in that you are responsible for its success or failure. You and the members of your family are stockholders in your corporation, and it’s your responsibility to see that the value of the stock increases in the years ahead. Your family has evidenced faith in you, and it’s your responsibility to prove that their faith is justified. This is the job of any employed family member.

Now, while the operations of a corporation are multitudinous and complex, they can be reduced to four basic functions: (1) finance, (2) production, (3) sales, and (4) research. Without proper financing, there would be no production. Without production, the company would have nothing to sell. Without sales, it would have to completely stop production. Without research, it could not hope to keep abreast, or ahead, of our rapidly changing times. Slight any one of these four vital functions, and you have a deformed – a crippled – company. If you slight it long enough, you’ll commit corporate suicide....

We discuss finance – the money part of the whole thing – in another section. For now, let’s concentrate on research, production, and sales. They are the head, hands, and legs of a company. We could say that the head handles research, the hands take care of production, and the legs handle sales. Cut off any one of these parts, and you’re left with a shocked, staggering organization. How many once large companies and trade names can you think of that became giants and then disappeared entirely from the economic scene – names that once were world leaders in their fields and are now only memories? They failed to keep in balance these four crucial functions.

What about research for your personal corporation? Research can be said to exist for the improvement of two areas: present and future. That is, the research of a company should be devoted to ways and means of improving its present products or services, present production, and present sales. Future research is concerned with ways and means of developing new products or services, new methods of production, and new methods of marketing. But while this research is going on, present production must continue at a level as high as sales warrant.

In short, a corporation – your corporation – has two factors to consider: the present and the future. How successful you are in meeting these challenges will determine your present profits and your future growth.

Why are all companies concerned with growth – even when they seem to be doing well today? It’s because of a law that operates with companies just as it does with human beings: Nothing in the world stands still – nothing in the entire universe stands still. A law of physics goes: “A body in motion tends to remain in motion, until acted upon by an outside force.” A company that is growing has a tendency to continue to grow. (In other words, it’s doing things right.) Conversely, a company that is going backward, or shrinking, has a tendency to continue to go backward, or shrink, until acted upon by an outside force.

All responsible company officers know that unless a company is growing, it’s manifesting the first signs of death. You’re the head of your personal corporation, and you should realize that this same law applies to you as well.

Now, just for a minute, let’s take a look at the next 10 to 30 years. Before we do, keep this in mind: Just 10 years ago, if anyone had predicted that we would be living in the kind of world we have today, he would have been ridiculed. This includes everything – from our basic industrial technology to the luxuries and new products we take for granted, along with our present average income. We’re reaching a point in the expansion of human knowledge where our advance is more than dynamic; it’s explosive. Any prediction is very likely to be far on the ultraconservative side. But let’s take a look at what the experts have to say.

According to many recent research studies, the next 10 years are going to offer business and the individual unlimited rewards.

In the next 10 years, the bulk of spending in the highly developed nations will be for products and services over and above the necessities – far above them. The necessities include clothing, shelter, transportation, and medical care. Imagine: Most of the spending will be for things above and beyond the necessities! This will be the first time this has happened in the entire history of the human race.

It’s estimated the consumer market will expand 50 percent and more in the next generation or so – an astounding increase, soaring into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

In the next 30 years, for every building now in existence, a new building must be built.

And what about research and development, which is the future of our economy? Today, more money is being spent on R and D in a single year than was spent during the past 150 years.

Think for a moment: What does all of this mean to you and your own individual company – the one of which you are president? It means your future is unlimited, if you’ll see yourself in relation to the present and the future. Never before, throughout all the centuries of man, has a person faced as bright a future as yours.

Our population is getting a lot smarter. Educational advances during the past 30 years have been remarkable. During the next 30, they’ll probably be amazing! The customer is getting smarter every day. And if we’re going to continue to meet his demands and sell him our products, we’d better get smarter every day, too.

The market of the next 10 years will be characterized by diversity – not uniformity. It will also be dominated by taste – not necessity. There will be a great increase in the quality as well as the quantity of consumer choices.

There are many signs of the increasing urge for the better things in life. Many millions of adults are currently interested in after-hours study programs, and this number is growing by millions each year.

Well, that’s just a glance at a few of the things going on around us, and what life will be like in 10 to 30 years.

Now, each one of us – as president and unquestioned manager of our corporation – can decide what to do about it. We can either grow with it or go backward. We can’t stand still – even if we’d like to! This gives us an opportunity to stand back and look at ourselves and our futures objectively – as an intelligent stranger might.

Ask yourself, “How much am I worth, right now, today, as a corporation? What is my value, today, to myself, my family and my company? If I were an outside investor, a stranger, would I invest in this corporation?”

A company growing at the rate of 10 percent a year will double in size in about eight years. What attention are you giving to the production of your personal corporation? Can you grow and improve as a person at least 10 percent a year? Of course you can. In fact, if we go along with the experts’ estimates, a person can increase his effectiveness anywhere from 50 to 100 percent and more within 30 days!

Our files are filled with reports from people who exceeded their previous performance to an almost unbelievable extent: people in management and in production who multiplied their effectiveness many times; students who moved from failing grades to straight A’s and the dean’s list; people in sales who found they could, through the proper management of their abilities, minds, and time, sell as much of their company’s products in a single month as they had previously sold in an entire year! Think what that means! It means being 12 times as effective as a human being. And, getting back to the law of cause and effect, it means putting out 12 times as much service, which must and will guarantee our receiving eventually 12 times the reward we formerly knew. Twelve times the reward!

Remember, please, that if we do twice as much, we have to receive twice as much. And nothing on earth can keep it from us. The same thing applies if we triple our effectiveness. You and I know this – everyone should know this. But remember that fully 95 percent of people do not know this. Think of the advantage this gives us. It isn’t that we want to take advantage of anyone – and we’re not. But it dramatically demonstrates the truth of the saying: “Knowledge is power.”

You would be amazed by the great numbers of people who stop learning when school is over. Aside from company manuals and other internal literature, they read very little or anything of real value. The introduction of recorded learning, pioneered by this company, has made substantial gains and is growing rapidly, but as yet, it has only scratched the surface. An ongoing education is vital, if we are to stay vital. There’s so much to learn, and our school curriculum touched only a fraction of it. One of the most important subjects is getting along with people. We can do things, we can win, only through people, and that subject isn’t taught at all in school. The great ideas we’re talking about on this program are seldom taught in the home, and almost never in school.

Go through our catalog of audio programs carefully. You can obtain one by calling 1-800-5259000. With them, one by one, you can maintain an effective, ongoing education program for many years to come.

It’s true: Knowledge is power. What’s more, knowledge shows on our faces, and it’s apparent in our speech. It helps us raise our children, and get along better with our neighbors and fellow workers. Above all, perhaps, it’s the greatest motivator in the world. As we learn, our horizons recede; we realize there is more to do, and more time in which to do it. Old myths about getting out of action at age 65 are dispelled, and we realize that as long as we’re learning and growing, it need never stop, and we become more effective with the passage of time.

Tomorrow is a brand new day. Time is the great equalizer – you have no more, or no less, than anyone else on earth can have. Right now, begin to think of ways in which you can begin to increase your effectiveness, raise your production, knowing that by so doing, you’re automatically presetting your rewards. Each day that comes to you, beginning with tomorrow, offers you a clean, brand new page on which to write the story of your life.

Forget the past; it’s gone. Don’t concern yourself with the opportunities you may have missed in the past ...but reach out and take each new day as it comes, and ask yourself, “How can I best use this day?” As you know, we’re going to run out of days eventually.

If we waste an hour of productive time every day, it adds up to about 250 hours a year that our corporation, our plant, is shut down. We can earn nothing with the doors closed. What is your time worth an hour? Multiply this by 250, and you can see what you’re throwing away. Now, whether or not your employer pays for this wasted hour is unimportant. Life will not pay for it.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. As my good friend Wally Amos, of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies says, “Happiness is an inside job.” Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed, savored.

A human life is really nothing more than a collection of minutes, hours, and days. These are the building materials. And it’s left strictly up to us to determine the kind and size of structure we build.

A person has a tremendous advantage over even the largest corporation. Think of any large multinational corporation. Can it double its production in a single day? Of course not. Can it double its sales in a single day? Of course not. It would like to, but its growth must be gradual and steady, because of the interconnecting complexities of operating so large an organization. Yet a person can double, triple, or quadruple his effectiveness in a month or less. It’s like comparing the movement of a single scout to the movement of a great army.

How have you been handling the four vital functions of your business: finance, research, production, sales? How much time and effort are you giving to finance? To research – to the study of your work, your career? Can this be improved? What about production? How can you vastly improve the way in which you conduct your work? And how can your sales be improved? Sales entails more than selling a product or service; it includes the way in which we sell ourselves to everyone with whom we come in contact. It includes the way we get along with our associates, our spouse, our kids, our neighbors.

And if our business happens to be selling, how can we see more people every day, or improve the effectiveness of every part of our contact? One extra call a day comes to 250 calls a year. How many additional sales could we make with 250 additional contacts? In five years, that comes to 1,250 calls we would not otherwise have made. It’s the difference between being average or above average. It’s the difference between being good and great.

Taking this new, active approach to life brings peace to our minds, absolute security to our futures, and great new stature as human beings. In this way, we can work toward reaching full maturity.

With this attitude toward life, we need never for a moment concern ourselves with its outcome.

We’ll begin to become successful tomorrow, and we’ll enjoy an abundance for the rest of our years.

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Techpopop: How Much Are You Worth? by Earl Nightingale
How Much Are You Worth? by Earl Nightingale
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