What is your worth anchored to?

William Liao
2 min readNov 29, 2023


“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” — Marcus Aurelius

In middle school, I desperately wanted to be perceived as a “cool” kid.

Because perception was the ultimate goal, my sense of self-worth frequently rose and fell with the opinions of the people around me — talk about a roller coaster.

That’s when I learned (the hard way) that your sense of self-worth is as stable as the thing you anchor it to. And if I’m being honest I still have to occasionally relearn this lesson.

I spent a ton of time caring about what people thought, and not nearly enough time considering what it meant to be intrinsically worthy.

What do I mean by that?

Well for starters, we’ve all won an exceptionally rare kind of cosmic lottery:

It’s so easy to get caught in the minutiae of day-to-day challenges that you forget that you’re here. You exist among the stars.

And while you’re here, you get to do all kinds of things: shape and decide what matters to you, form meaningful connections with other beings, and smell the roses (literally and figuratively).

You get to decide what your existence means — whatever you anchor your sense of meaning to is your prerogative.

No one and no thing can take that from you.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)