Let’s talk about value. How do the startups operate? They create a product and as soon as they have an MVP, a minimum viable product, the minimum value a product can have, they launch it in the market and, through testing and iteration with their customers, they modify the product to meet optimal performance and results. How do people like it? How do they interact with it? How can we improve the user experience? How to improve the product? Constant feedback and improvement make the product better and this is an on-going process through the duration of the product’s life.
The same occurs in the basketball world. The MVP, the most valuable player, is the person who is at his top game during a season, who did his best to be above average and to make a difference for the team. It is also about listening to feedback, improving, and presenting a better game every time. In sport, the MVP’s performance analysis and a deep understanding of the game is a constant exercise to improve both. When you establish the minimum value person you want to be and launch your potential, the constant assessment of your performance and analysis of your game is fundamental for great results and to reach your full potential.
In both cases above, there are key performance indicators to measure and evaluate the product and the player. The good news is that you can create your own internal MVP criteria to measure yourself against your own values in a clear way, leading to improvement and, above all, meaning.
But how to do it? You may decide what is the minimum you accept yourself to be as a starting point of your own growth and discovery of your meaning in life: MVP, the minimum value person. You will decide what is the MVP, the minimum value person, you accept yourself to be. What are your key performance indicators to measure your own acceptable minimum value? Are you living without an assessment of your own minimum acceptable value and just accepting passively what comes to, or are you iterating with your life and launching the minimum value version of yourself to grow as the feedback comes from the most important user: you? We can say many things about mindset and action towards growth, and that all change starts with a vision. This is true but understanding that the minimum you can be is your starting point, your now and to launch yourself with a clear mission and meaning for your life is fundamental to reach the full potential you are hoping for, to reach the superior self-product you can be. The minimum value person is the person you accept to be in order to look further: the launching pad for high flights.
Now, do you operate with your own feedback, your performance indicators, and iterating with yourself to be better? How do you become a better self? Are you operating at your minimum acceptable value already? Will you be stuck on your MVP, without realizing your potential? Or do you need more to be at your minimum to grow? You must make your own performance assessment, your own MVP assessment: what do I need to improve now in order to grow in the future? Self-improvement leads to self-esteem, which leads to growth. You should reserve a time to make your self-product better: time spent in making you a better version of yourself is not wasted, value is also in the effort itself and in the potential to promote change in it. Making your self-product better increases your market value, your life value, your own value, and your self-product shelf expectancy. The most important thing you will take from this process is that you are improving your value to your own self, in your own eyes. The more consciently valuable you are, the more self-esteem you have, thus better investing in your growth, on your dreams. You should reserve the time and the value to improve as a product and have your own higher value.
High value to you, however, is very connected and achieved through meaning. What do you do that has meaning in your life? What has meaning for you? Viktor Frankl, in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” states that the meaning of life always changes, but it never ceases to be and that we can find meaning in three different ways: “by creating a work or doing a deed, by experiencing something or encountering someone, and by the attitude toward unavoidable suffering”. Nietzsche also said that “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”. In a very simplistic way in face of these two giants’ ideas, we can safely state that if you have a meaning you can do and endure almost anything in life; if you have meaning, the path for growth and development and the inevitable roadblocks and difficulties you will find will be only what they are: roadblocks and difficulties, and meaning will give you the deep certainty that you can overcome all of them. We are talking about Frankl’s first option: find meaning by the way of achievement. By constantly growing and developing as a person, you constantly increase the value of all around you: your work and your achievements leading to a fulfilled and meaningful future.
It is clear by now that the way to assess the MVP you want to be is to ask a few sincere questions when you decide you want to improve your game and discover what is meaningful to you: what is important to you? What is meaningful to you? Do you want to be generous, empathetic, assertive, fair, just, compassionate? What is unnegotiable for you? Your integrity, your dignity, your mental health? What can be altered and improved right now? Your education, your mindset, your belief in yourself and in others? What can be altered later, if not now? How can you grow from here? What is mortally offensive to you and what you will not accept under any circumstance? Make lists, write down your main thoughts during the process.
All MVPs by nature, be it a product, a player, or a person, are imperfect and incomplete. That’s very important to understand in your self-assessment: there is no perfection, only betterment, and excellence. One needs not to aim to reach perfection because it is simply unattainable: we can only reach excellence as humans and this is immensely awesome. Also, there is no need to be self-indulging or judging yourself super hard: just be extremely self-aware, honest to your feelings and limitations, and do not compare yourself to other people but to the values you appreciate in others. Knowing your minimum also prevents you from being stuck or accepting less than what you deem acceptable for yourself. The MVP is a starting point at the minimum you can accept for yourself, it is the launching pad of your betterment process, it is to create a departure point for you, for your future with a clear assessment of your values, what is important for you, what you accept and want is unacceptable, and most importantly, what is meaningful to you. If you are lucky, you can even find your full meaning at this point.
As the say goes “where the focus goes, the energy flows”: by starting to focus on your self-product with an improvement eye and understanding that you already have what it takes to be where you are, levels your internal field to the level of all other players out there and your objectives became a real possibility. You are at your minimum, you are competitive as you are now and from this point, you will grow with constant assessment, correcting routes, adding value to yourself in order to fulfill your meaning.
The minimum value person is a big exercise on compassion and growth to oneself. It is to look at who you are, what you have done and to find value on your life and wherever you are at a given point, your starting point. Also, is a way to eliminate what hurts you, to establish a minimum you accept, what is important to you, and what do you want to carry with you. It is an exercise to trim fat and excess from the expectation you have for yourself at this point and understand you are ready to take the first step toward a better you from wherever you are now and live a fulfilling future with full potential realized and most importantly, meaning.