How much you are worth need not be seen in terms of how much you are paid. How much you are worth should be assessed in terms of what responsibilities are given to you. The privilege is not the money that you receive; the privilege is that you have been allowed to create something. Money is a means for our survival, yes, and to that extent it is necessary. However, you must always assess yourself in terms of whatever you are being asked to do. What is the level of responsibility that is being offered to you? What is the opportunity for you to create something truly worthwhile, both for yourself and for everybody around you? Any work that you do in the world is truly worthwhile for you only if you are able to touch people’s lives deeply.
For example, if you were to make a film, would you want to make a film nobody would want to watch? Or write a book that nobody would want to read? Or build a house that nobody would want to live in? You would not want to produce something nobody wants to use. So in some way, you are longing to touch people’s lives. If you closely observe your life, you will see that one thing of importance to you is that the activity you perform should touch people’s lives.
Many people are trying to divide their life into work and family — where work is something that you do just for money and family is something you do to touch people’s lives. But no matter how much money you earn, if you find your husband, wife or children are not at all touched by what you do, it would suddenly seem meaningless to have a family. Somewhere in your life, you want people to be touched by what you do. This aspect need not remain or restrict itself to family alone; it could extend itself into every area of life. Whatever you do should touch people’s lives — that is all that really matters.
How deeply you touch people’s lives depends on how involved you are in what you do. If your involvement is there, naturally the way you work will be very different, and according to your capabilities, you will be paid. Sometimes you will have to bargain a little or ask for a raise, perhaps your boss has forgotten that you need one. But generally, if people realize the value of what you are to that particular business or company, they will pay accordingly.
If you grow in what you are doing, some day, when it is necessary, you could shift from one position to the next, and your money could just multiply a 100 times over. For example, let us say you are heading a corporation and for whatever reason you are not paid much, but you have been given full responsibility to run the whole operation. If you are performing well and the whole world is watching, tomorrow anybody will be willing to grab you for any amount. So your value need not always be gauged in terms of money.
We have established corporations so that what we cannot do individually, we can achieve collectively. We could have all operated as individual entrepreneurs — that is how we operated historically, where everybody was a manufacturer and trader of some commodity. But when we are willing to put the will of thousands of people together in one direction — that is a corporation wanting to achieve something big.
Where are you are placed in this corporation of people looking to move in one direction? What is the level of responsibility and trust that has been placed in you? That is your real worth. How much you derive from it in terms of money is not everything. Yes, it is important but it is not everything. You must always gauge your worth in terms of the level of responsibility people are willing to give you, and whether what you are creating is truly worthwhile for yourself and for others.