A new friend came over today and met my brother. I've got lots of friends but could always use another. But then, of course, my brother took serious offense, when this new kid wouldn't stop joking at his expense. "You could'a laughed along," I said after the boy left. "What, and devalue myself for his little joke-fest?" "Oh, you have a value? Like someone's gonna buy!" "I know I'm one-of-one and that's a very low supply. See, I value myself, where you seek validation. Your friends control your worth and your belie f formation. So much of what you do is done automatically. You would act different if you processed things mentally." I said, "at least my friends don't tell me I'm a robot"! He said, "hold on, just listen because I'm really not". Most people use automatic thoughts call heuristics. There is actual research on this and statistics. People seek rewards, they seek other's admiration, they're easily influenced, and seek conformation." "There are things with inherent valued called intrinsic. Other things are just valuable when many think. For example, take the most popular sneaker brands, people will pay whatever a company demands. The reward is to be admired and impress your friends." To prove I was listening, I said, "or your girlfriends". He rolled his eyes and said, "those are extrinsic rewards. I won't trap myself longing for things I can't afford. Pursuing more can lead you in the wrong direction, like Jack, buying magic beans with all his possessions. " "Like tulips were once worth 100,000 dollars, not the flower, the bulb, like an onion but smaller. In the 1630's, Holland went tulip crazy! At the time, tulips were rare, not an average daisy. People didn't buy them to plant, they bought them to sell. They sold their lives for one bulb, they watched the bubble swell, but soon, more bulbs were introduced and the market fell. Some people sold before the burst, if they could foretell. To those blindly seeking profit, it seemed abrupt. 1 Most of those left holding tulip bulbs became bankrupt." "Did that really happen?" I asked very suspicious. "It did, perfect example of social influence. The bulbs never held any intrinsic value, but be sure, there are many things in this world that do. Things like precious metals, diamonds, even you and me. Value increases the more rare a commodity." "Aren't diamonds and jewelry just like expensive sneakers?" "No, they're valuable for their inherent features. Diamonds2 , the hardest thing on earth, make the best saw blades. Platinum, gold, silver, metals in the precious grade, are inert and resist corrosive destruction. They're also the best for electrical conduction." "How does that make us valuable, we're not metal?" "Because no one has the same genes, it's fundamental. We're all one-of-a-kind with a purpose to fulfill. Who can count how many times in life you'll be useful! Demand starts when useful things are in low quantity. These are principles of a solid economy. Knowing the demand will always exceed the supply, is a good indication the value will stay high.4 Seeing your own rarity and the value you hold, will make you realize that you are worth your weight in gold."