To live a life that matters, you must add value to others. To add value to others, you must first value yourself.
It is impossible to consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with how we feel about ourselves on the inside. Self-image dictates daily behavior. How we see ourselves regulates what we consistently do, and our behavior is what defines us, not what we might do on a rare occasion. The only way to be consistent and authentic in valuing others is to see value in ourselves.
In John Maxwell's book, Winning with Others, he explains the lens principle: how we see ourselves determines how we see others. We don't see people as they are; we see people as we are.
Speaker and author Brian Tracy says, "there's a direct relationship between your own self-esteem and the health of your personality. The more you like and respect yourself, the more you like and respect other people. The more you consider yourself to be a valuable and worthwhile person, the more you consider others to be valuable and worth-while as well."
When you accept yourself just as you are, you accept others just as they are. Observers of human behavior have learned that people with low self-esteem are almost always self-centered, and preoccupied with their own thoughts and actions. In contrast, people who help others tend to feel good about the people they help and to feel good about themselves. When you add value to others, there is an instant return of positive emotions that makes you feel better about who you are. I'm sure you've experiences those positive feelings when you've helped someone in need.
Positive thinking doesn't build self-image; positive acts do. There's nothing wrong with positive thinking. But the most effective way to live a life that matters is to let positive thinking turn into positive acts.
When you do positive acts, not only will your self-image start to rise, but you will also find yourself living a more magical life that matters.
If you only place a small value on yourself, rest assured that the rest of the world will not raise the price. The result of your own low self-esteem and poor sense of self-worth, you'll fail to make a positive difference in the lives of others because you'll think you don't have much to offer.
The best way to raise your self-worth is to do positive acts for others. When you do good acts, your self-esteem will rise. When your self-esteem rises, you'll do more good acts.
Do good acts for others.