The Meaning of Life

So, what is the meaning of life?

Well yes, I’m so glad you asked that. Let’s get the tricky questions out of the way first shall we…

According to the Wiki’s, the meaning of life constitutes ‘a philosophical question concerning the purpose and significance of life or existence in general’.

So that’s what the question means. But let’s get some answers here, People! Tell it to me straight.

Let’s try asking ‘why are we here’?

Anyone who’s been watching Brian Cox’s ‘Wonders of the Universe’ will know that it’s a pretty straightforward answer. ‘We’re lucky to be here anyway, and it won’t be for much longer as the whole universe is going to shrivel up and die with all of us in it’. When I say for much longer, I do mean trillions and trillions of years. No need to start panic buying just yet!

That’s a bit maudlin! Can’t we brighten this up a bit.

OK, let’s take the logical positivism take on it. They say “What is the meaning of life… what is the meaning in asking?’’

Now that’s more like it, we’ve got an argument. No wait, they actually do want to answer this, hold on…

‘’A person’s life has meaning (for himself, others) as the life events resulting from his achievements, legacy, family, etc., but, to say that life, itself, has meaning, is a misuse of language, since any note of significance, or of consequence, is relevant only in life (to the living), so rendering the statement erroneous.’’

OK, you’ve lost me a bit there.

So what you’re saying is that it depends who’s watching?

Yes… no…? Not sure either.

This is starting to get a bit like quantum physics. Great video here by the way, which kind of sums up the quantum conundrum. If you don’t know about quantum mechanics, it basically says that, at a quantum level, things start to change when they’re ‘observed’. Yes, that’s right, turn your head away and they start to party. Look back and they’re behaving normally again. Hey, that’s a bit like my kids. Mmnn…

Back to the case in point though. Bertrand Russell once wrote that ‘‘although he found that his distaste for torture was not like his distaste for broccoli, he found no satisfactory, empirical method of proving this’’.

Which kind of puts us back to square one.

Or as Talk Talk would say: ‘’Life’s what you make it’’.



Definitions of ‘value’

Just a bit of fun, but useful nonetheless…

c.1300, from O.Fr. value “worth, value” (13c.), noun use of fem. pp. of valoir “be worth,” from L. valere “be strong, be well, be of value”. The meaning “social principle” is attested from 1918, supposedly borrowed from the language of painting. The verb is recorded from late 15c. Related: Valued, valuing. Value judgment (1892) is a loan-translation of Ger. Werturteil.

Definitions of ‘value’
1. (noun) value: a numerical quantity measured or assigned or computed “the value assigned was 16 milliseconds”
2. (noun) value: the quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable
“the Shakespearean Shylock is of dubious value in the modern world”
3. (noun) value, economic value the amount (of money or goods or services) that is considered to be a fair equivalent for something else “he tried to estimate the value of the produce at normal prices”
4. (noun) value: relative darkness or lightness of a color “I establish the colors and principal values by organizing the painting into three values–dark, medium…and light”-Joe Hing Lowe
5. (noun) value, time value, note value (music) the relative duration of a musical note
6. (verb) value an ideal accepted by some individual or group “he has old-fashioned values”
7. (verb) value fix or determine the value of; assign a value to “value the jewelry and art work in the estate”
8. (verb) prize, value, treasure, appreciate hold dear “I prize these old photographs”
9. (verb) respect, esteem, value, prize, prise regard highly; think much of “I respect his judgement”; “We prize his creativity”
10. (verb) measure, evaluate, valuate, assess, appraise, value evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance of “I will have the family jewels appraised by a professional”; “access all the factors when taking a risk”
11. (verb) rate, value estimate the value of “How would you rate his chances to become President?”; “Gold was rated highly among the Romans”

Translation of ‘value’

Afrikaans: waarde
Bulgarian: ценност
Breton: valor
Czech: ůležitost
German: der Wert
Danish: ærdi
Greek: αξία, σπουδαιότητα
Spanish: valor, importancia
Estonian: äärtus
Finnish: arvo
French: é
Croatian: čaj
Hungarian: érték
Indonesian: nilai
Icelandic: ægi; gagnsemi
Italian: valore
Lithuanian: ė
Latvian: ērtība
Malayalam: penting; berharga
Dutch: waarde
Norwegian: verdi
Polish: ść
Persian: valor
Romanian: ţă
Russian: ценность
Slovak: ýznam, dôležitosť
Slovenian: pomembnost
Serbian: vrednost
Swedish: ärde
Turkish: ğer, kıymet
Ukrainian: цінність; важливість
Vietnamese: á trị

Measuring the unmeasurable

How can companies measure non-monetary value?

Well this is a very generalistic question and needs breaking down somewhat. Companies are a collection of individuals. Most companies answer not only to these individuals but to their shareholders. The values of these company stakeholders will form the basis of their requirements unless there is a specific company culture that has been adopted by them.

So the first step would be to define what non-monetary value is with specific regard to the company in question. What does the company, or what do the stakeholders value?

Which of the following would score high on their list?
Employee satisfaction?
Social interaction?
Career progression?
Knowledge and spiritual fulfillment?

Explain the purpose of the enquiry, articulate your objective to the employees. Are you doing this so you know how to increase it, or is this a cost cutting exercise… big difference!

Next, determine your performance indicators. Happy on a scale of 1 to 10? And compared to what?

Then establish your benchmarks. Employee retention is always a good one here. Specify a time limit (is it 1 month, 8 months or 5 years).

Then get talking… because, as the saying goes ‘You never know the worth of water ’til the well is dry’.

How can companies measure non-monetary value?

How can companies measure non-monetary value? 1 answer on Quora

How can companies measure non-monetary value?

The value of a Salad

Great seminar with Jamie Smart (from Salad NLP training) over the weekend. The title of the seminar was ‘Getting Clients Congruently‘ and was a masterclass in getting people to sign up for Jamie’s Inner Circle group. Interestingly enough though, Jamie was totally upfront about the ‘selling’ bit and ‘unpacked’ his strategy in front of the audience whilst selling his ‘Inner Circle’ group at the same time.

Some people took offense to this and upped and left. They missed a trick here though. Because what they didn’t get was the process, the method, the ‘value’ of the pitch. They probably considered their time more valuable. Or they might have taken offense to being ‘sold to’ (what the hell were they doing at a ‘Getting Clients Congruently’ seminar then?).

As Jamie continued throughout the weekend, he made no apologies for his ‘sales’ pitch, continuing to give lessons in why it did and didn’t work previously and adding in gem after gem after gem of tips and tactics.

I had to leave early on both days but I will definitely be keeping Jamie’s Inner Circle in mind as I progress in the next few weeks and months in my new role. In fact I have a date in mind when I think it might be right for me and I might just apply. So even when ‘value’ seems (to one’s own thoughts) to not be there, just stop and think… ‘Why are my thoughts telling me this, and could I be wrong?’

Just a thought…

Chinese Value

Interesting article on ‘The Chinese are Coming‘ last night (Sky+-ed of course) in which chicken farmers in Zambia were complaining about the competition from Chinese chicken farmers. Lower cost production, and (according to them) lower quality produce. The presenter was definitely under pressure to agree with the local farmers in the ‘taste test challenge’. It did get me thinking about ‘value’ in this context. Value according to whom? The local Zambians, the local Zambian farmers, the Chinese farmer, the Presenter of the program, the viewers? Where did value sit here?

The value to the local Zambians would undoubtedly be focused on cost, probable short term cost. Their day-to-day fight against hunger and the elements to feed their families.

The value to the local farmers would be a mixture of costs and profit, competition (and pride).

The Chinese farmer sees value in opportunity and competition, he also gives jobs to locals, so he sees his entrepreneurship as vital to the local community. The presenter… well you’d have to ask him that, but I would say he sees the value of the story.

And the viewer? Well, I could see both sides of the story. With cheaper competition, there is a need to drive down prices, which benefits the consumer. It might not benefit the farmers as much, but then again they are learning new techniques and business practises.

Don’t forget that the concept of value is based on the relationship between satisfying needs and expectations and the resources required to achieve them. If competition means greater satisfaction for the consumer with fewer resources (better farming techniques), then should not this be considered ‘better value’?

Value world!

Getting the best value is what we are all about, don’t you agree? The best value from our relationships, the best value from our jobs, the best value from our… well whatever really. I will try to cast some light on the matter…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.