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What it feels like to provide value...and why that's all that matters

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LordGanon

Bronze Contributor
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Jun 22, 2020
176
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Germany
So I've given the whole idea of value vs. money-chasing some thought for the past few weeks.

It's true, and I'm pretty sure a lot of us are guilty: We're often in it because of the money. Not because we want to provide value. Instead, we chase through ideas, hoping to find the one shortcut. Although we know that there are no shortcuts in life. And even if we found it: We could have used the time we spent looking for the shortcut building something meaningful.

A few days ago, something interesting happened. Out of curiosity, I googled myself. I found stuff about university lectures and talks I held and about my political activities, mostly.

But then, I stumbled across something interesting.

Some guy wrote a blog article about a robotics project he was building. He mentioned my name several times. He had used the source code I wrote for an electronic compass. That Chinaware absolutely did not do what the specifications said it would, but I made it run, anyway. I blogged about this. That source code I wrote allowed him to complete his robotics project. He said it was the only working source code on the internet he could find.

A few months earlier, an elderly man wrote me an email because he had found my source code, too, and asked me to program a plane model for him, because my source code was the only working code he found and he really wanted to enter an autonomic model plane contest.

I remembered that. And then I began to cry. You might wonder why.

The last couple of years have been hard. My alcoholism and my depression nearly killed me, several times. I had to move back in with my mother. I really hit rock bottom. I had absolutely no feeling of self-worth left.

To pass the time in unemployment after my time in psychiatry, I picked up electronics and programming Arduinos. So I was sitting there in the basement of my mother and taught myself how to program microcontrollers and electronic components. I found a problem I was very frustrated with, solved it, and shared the solution.

Yes, indeed, I need money. I'm in debt, and I don't want to be.

But you know what really made me happy that day that I googled myself? That although I had ruined my life and was dwelling in the basement of my mother, I apparently managed to provide value to the life of others. And I finally felt a glimpse of self-worth again. And that's something money can't buy.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Incredible story, thank you for sharing...
 

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
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So I've given the whole idea of value vs. money-chasing some thought for the past few weeks.

It's true, and I'm pretty sure a lot of us are guilty: We're often in it because of the money. Not because we want to provide value. Instead, we chase through ideas, hoping to find the one shortcut. Although we know that there are no shortcuts in life. And even if we found it: We could have used the time we spent looking for the shortcut building something meaningful.

A few days ago, something interesting happened. Out of curiosity, I googled myself. I found stuff about university lectures and talks I held and about my political activities, mostly.

But then, I stumbled across something interesting.

Some guy wrote a blog article about a robotics project he was building. He mentioned my name several times. He had used the source code I wrote for an electronic compass. That Chinaware absolutely did not do what the specifications said it would, but I made it run, anyway. I blogged about this. That source code I wrote allowed him to complete his robotics project. He said it was the only working source code on the internet he could find.

A few months earlier, an elderly man wrote me an email because he had found my source code, too, and asked me to program a plane model for him, because my source code was the only working code he found and he really wanted to enter an autonomic model plane contest.

I remembered that. And then I began to cry. You might wonder why.

The last couple of years have been hard. My alcoholism and my depression nearly killed me, several times. I had to move back in with my mother. I really hit rock bottom. I had absolutely no feeling of self-worth left.

To pass the time in unemployment after my time in psychiatry, I picked up electronics and programming Arduinos. So I was sitting there in the basement of my mother and taught myself how to program microcontrollers and electronic components. I found a problem I was very frustrated with, solved it, and shared the solution.

Yes, indeed, I need money. I'm in debt, and I don't want to be.

But you know what really made me happy that day that I googled myself? That although I had ruined my life and was dwelling in the basement of my mother, I apparently managed to provide value to the life of others. And I finally felt a glimpse of self-worth again. And that's something money can't buy.
Wow. Thanks for sharing.

1) You didn’t ruin your life.

2) Help people at scale and when you’re asleep. Put that helpful or entertaining article, code, advice, video or whatever out there and people might start finding it. It’s amazing to think people can get value from something you created years ago. MJ is the perfect example.
 

sparechange

Platinum Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 11, 2016
2,805
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Canada (Vancouver)
Feedback loop! Keep going and going and going and going like the little energizer bunny
 
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Create_Value

New Contributor
Aug 9, 2018
4
16
Way to go, LG! A life of meaningful service is far more valuable than a life spent in selfish pursuit of "success."

Be mindful of the internal narrative you live...because it creates much of the emotion you generate from the inside out. Don't lock yourself into a narrative where you are "a failure." This is just a chapter of your life, and the next chapter is beginning now.
 

schazz

Contributor
Jul 12, 2013
11
20
New York
Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing that. And I know this post isn't about making money exactly, but it sounds like you have the knowledge and ability to create things that people would pay you for as well.
 
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smokeybear

New Contributor
Jul 27, 2020
2
3
Orange, CA
But you know what really made me happy that day that I googled myself? That although I had ruined my life and was dwelling in the basement of my mother, I apparently managed to provide value to the life of others. And I finally felt a glimpse of self-worth again. And that's something money can't buy.

LordGanon, thanks for sharing your story. It times like that that we must remember our self-worth. We always need to recognize the power that we bring to the world. We all have strengths and weaknesses to deal with. The reality is, we must lean into what we're good at and continue to grow in areas that we're not so solid in. As an inspiring entrepreneur, I'm excited at learning about myself and putting processes and systems into the world. Based on your story, you've already started that process too. Like Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell, keep going!"

Keep your head up brother! Brighter days are ahead!

Best,

Raul
 

Photool

Contributor
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Jul 17, 2020
28
49
Orlando Florida
Most times our greatest pains and struggles become our greatest assets.

They help us see what we want and what we don't want.
They help us discover the learning lessons
They help us wake up to each of our own individual reasons, drives, and desires .

It's interesting but the things we usually struggle with most of our lives become our life purpose . We strive so deeply to overcome them our-self that we can then help others overcome it by sharing our failures , successes, and insights.

Your'e on the path my friend, don't let off @LordGanon
 

Daemonyos

Eudaimonia.
Aug 3, 2020
15
12
Austria
When a man is at his lowest, you'll learn wo he really is.
That's what got you into programming - that's what got me into being obsessed with fixing me and at the same time helping immensely ill friends of mine.

Helping people is pure bliss.
 
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themarkboogie

Mamba Mentality
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Oct 8, 2020
40
78
Bay Area, California
Awesome stuff, man. Felt sad to hear about your lows but inspired hearing about your highs.

Also, glad to hear providing value to someone else brought you happiness. A lot of things in life can't be quantitatively measured and those are usually the things that really matter at the end of the day.
 

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