Sweetheart, you don’t get it.

You don’t realize just how beautifully valuable you are. So very precious. So very special.

Because you’re like me. You forget. You deny it. You disbelieve it.

It’s not your fault. It’s not a pathology – something that went wrong. There’s a disease. Adyashanti says it’s an affliction of the Western mind. It’s the disease of chronic unworthiness.

That no matter how well you do, how much people love and appreciate you for who you are, you have this doubt. This place deep inside, where you actually don’t believe you have any value. You’re not worthy.

It shows up in everything you do.

You’re confusing things. It’s ok sweetheart. I do it too. It’s not a mistake, it’s part of the path. But you still don’t get it.

Value. Worth. Worthiness.

It’s not all the same. There are two radically distinct kinds of value. And when you confuse them, it’s a recipe for existential crises, delusion and confusion.

Which is never fun.

So, let’s see if we can’t clear that up.

Essential Worth

You have this in complete abundance. And what’s even cooler, you don’t have to do anything to create it or prove it.

You are one of the most conscious and beautiful beings the world has ever seen. So am I. And so is your grandmother, the wall street banker and Justin Beiber (yup, even Justin).

You’re a human being. That’s already pretty fucking rad. It’s a precious, precious gift.

The Tibetans say it’s very rare to be born as a human. They tell a story. Imagine the whole world is a giant ocean. And there’s a turtle that swims around under the surface. And there’s a golden ball, floating around in the currents. Now what are the chances of that turtle popping up above the surface and catching that golden ball in its mouth? Pretty darned slim. Well, that’s the same chance you have of being born human.

You get born a human. Wow!

And just like the snowflakes and the trees, every single one of us is totally unique.

By definition of being uniquely human, you have essential worth. You have the most sophisticated biological hardware in the known universe. And you have a unique software system – your own consciousness – that sees things distinctly from every other human being.

Essential worth. You don’t have to prove it, or stress about it because you were born with it. And it can never be taken away.

Worldly Worth

This one is different.

When you’re born, your worldly worth bank account starts at zero. It’s something you must create. It’s your usefulness out in reality.

Imagine Mozart was alive today. He had all his musical genius. But in this world he doesn’t compose or perform anything. He spends his life eating nachos on the sofa, beating off to expensive porn and never leaving the apartment someone else pays for. He has no worldly worth. In fact, he may even have negative worth. He consumes more that he creates. He consumes a lot of nachos, a lot of porn, and doesn’t create anything in return.

Worldly worth must be created. It’s the value that is useful to other people.

And this is what business is interested in. The market place.

If I spend 2,000 hours learning the ancient art of cosmic monkey spanking, then I am valuable to all the people that want to spank their own cosmic monkeys, but don’t know how.

And they will want to give me value in return for teaching them. They give me $100 a session, or special primal favours.

When we make that trade, the world literally gets more valuable.

Worldly worth. You have a bunch of it already, but you can create more. You must create more, if you want to do your true work in the world.

We confuse these kinds of value

If you deny the existence of essential value, like the modern marketplace often does, then you will spend your live striving to prove your worth by building immense worldly value. But its fruitless, because you’re trying to prove your humanity, your essential value, and that can never be proved.

If you deny the existence of worldly value, then you become impotent. You wait for your work to ‘emerge’ (often spiritual speak for naïve inaction), believing your natural inner unicorn will be recognized if you ‘trust’ in it. But it’s crazy making, because your worldly value has to be created. It doesn’t just pop along magically.

When I put out new stuff, the fear is that my heartfelt offer will be met with indifferent silence. No one gives a shit. No one wants to accept my invitation.

And when I’m not watching, the undifferentiated scripts start to wind their suffocating bodies around me.

“If no one pays you for this, it’s going to confirm that you’re actually worthless Ewan. I know you think you’re special and unique, but the evidence will be there fuckwit. You’re worthless.”

What it would actually confirm is that my worldly worth in the particular area I just created something in, is not what I thought it was.

And the antidote is simple. Either I’m offering my worldly value to the wrong folks, in which case I find the right tribe. Or I don’t have enough value in this area, and I just need to put the work in to get better.

Usually it’s just fear and doubt though. And it can be so insidious. “Maybe it was all a delusion. Maybe I’m actually not worthy.”

And of course, the irony of it is that the more we trust in our essential worth, the easier it is to own and create our worldly worth.

Do you invest in your worldly worth?

You can’t invest in your essential worth. It’s not a thing that can be increased or decreased, only felt or denied.

But your worldly worth can be increased indefinitely. If you want it to be.

And that’s where you and I tend to struggle isn’t it? In our noble attempt to transcend the materialistic absolutism of the modern marketplace, we throw out the worldly baby with the greedy bathwater.

But worldly worth is the root of service and making a difference in the world.

The math is simple. The more you invest in and develop a worldly capacity, the more it’s worth.

I’m a more valuable coach today than I was 3 years ago. Because I’ve run the cycles on it. I’ve clocked up hundreds of hours of coaching, and it shows when I sit down with someone to help them.

How seriously do you invest in your worldly worth? Do you put your money on the line?

Often we shy away for paying for our own growth, because we doubt the value.

“Oh, it looks interesting, but $2,000 for a 5 day falafel workshop? That’s too steep. It’s not worth it.”

But you love falafel! It’s your life, your passion, your love!

The absence of value lies not in the promise of the program. It lies in you. You don’t believe you are worth $2,000 of investment.

“I’m a falafel amateur. I’m not ready for spending that kind of money. It’s above my level.”

It might be true. But more often than not, we doubt our worth. We don’t trust our essential worth, and so we shy away from investing in our worldly worth.

We believe the story in our head, that’s compounded by a confusion about the nature of value. Because what’s the point in investing in myself if I’m worthless in the first place?

Then it’s like pouring champagne in a toilet full of piss.

I’m in your corner

Sweetheart, you don’t realize just how valuable you are. And how valuable you can be.

It makes me sad. It’s sadness at my own doubt too.

I was told “whatever you do Ewan, it’s wonderful. It doesn’t matter how good it is!” It was progressive at the time. Now it’s painfully lopsided.

Because we hold back don’t we? We don’t trust we can do it, create it, own it. We doubt it will turn out well if we really own our essential value, and step forth and develop our value in the world.

But that’s why we’re here. If we couldn’t grow and serve, and leave the world better than when we came in, we wouldn’t be here. That’s the whole point sweetheart.

You’re so fucking valuable. Never believe the doubt that you are. You already know how much worth you possess.

And go forth, and build a level of value in your world that matches that inner knowing. That is what will enable you to leave your beautiful mark on the world.


If you’d like to go deeper into this mission – your mission – and learn how to courageously step out into the world, then take a look at my new small group program: Emerge.

There are still a few places left.

Take a look here.

And if you do feel called to step in. Do so. You’re worth it.


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Ewan Townhead

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you're interested further in my work, you can find out more about me here, and my coaching here.

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  1. Avatar

    Really enjoying the clarity in how you’ve written this – not sure exactly what it is that touched me but I keep coming back to it. Or maybe it’s the lips – they kind of stick in the head – slightly creepy! Sorry – it’s late and irreverence is rising 🙂

    • Ewan Townhead

      Glad it touched something Clare. Creepy is good too 😛


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