What is your worth anchored to?

William Liao
2 min readNov 29, 2023

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“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.

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William Liao

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