One Man’s Pot Noodle Is Another Man’s Gold Pt I

It took me a while of being on LinkedIn before I realised it wasn’t just Corporate types talking fluent Corpspeak and trying to prove how Type A they are. I have found some amazing people on LinkedIn who are committed to some amazing causes, and have brilliant ideas on a lot of the things I am passionate about. One such person, Danny Jones, often posts great questions and thoughts, and inspires debate (and in a break from normal social media rules, he doesn’t even get upset if you disagree). A while back he asked this question that surrounded youth sport:

How can a kid be let go by a soccer academy, and picked up by a higher level academy the next week? Great question! Did one of these academies get it wrong? Did the one that let the kid go make an error they will regret? Did the team that signed him find a gold nugget that needs polishing, or will they pour resources into a player who isn’t going to make the grade? He used the phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

This took me back to when I was a kid and when I first saw this phrase. My Grandad, knowing of my love for books rescued a book from the garbage which I am guessing was written around 1890. He wrote almost these same words inside it before he gave it to me. I still have that book, it’s called “History of England” and it sits on my bookshelf. I am a bit of a bibliophile, I love books, especially old ones. The value I have on that book is beyond what most people could offer for it, yet to someone else it was literally garbage.

Value is relative.

I started to think about purpose and value. In sport it is easy to put a value on someone. Lionel Messi almost didn’t make it because he was too small. Johann Cruyff saved him from the soccer scrap-heap, and now he’s the most valuable player in the world. Or is he? How valuable is he in a team that goes route one, straight from defence, over the midfield and to the giant striker who may or may not score? I’m sure he’d do OK, he’s Lionel Messi, he won’t suck. However, to get the best out of him you need to play a certain way. Even Lionel Messi doesn’t have the same value to every team.

Here are today’s three takeaways:

1 – Never judge a book by its cover. Literally. If I had done that, I would have missed a great and valuable life-lesson from my Grandad.

2 – Just because something doesn’t fit for our purpose, it doesn’t mean it has no purpose or value. Purpose and value are subjective and chance based on need and environment.

3 – You may have been rejected by someone, you may not have been right for them, but that doesn’t mean you’re not right for everyone.

Value, I believe, is tied to purpose, and purpose is tied to goals or objectives. This is why some people are seen to have a higher value in one world than in another. Corporate Johnny or Jenny may look down on someone they Can’t Teach Ambition to because they can’t see past their own goals and purpose. Their attitude says more about them than the person they are putting a value on. The reality is that we all have different goals and ambitions. We all have a part to play, and therefore we should not over-estimate or under-estimate our own value in comparison to others.

If you enjoyed this article please give a like and check out other articles at

4 thoughts on “One Man’s Pot Noodle Is Another Man’s Gold Pt I

  1. I really liked this! I am too am a LinkedIn fan! I have found some amazing people who are passionate about what their causes. Thanks for sharing this as well as the right fit. Being smart enough to pull ones God given talents out is always the best thing we can do for one another.

    1. I think we often tend to look at the wrong things to be honest. On the FB page I gave this introduction:
      What do you have in common with a book from the 19th Century, and Lionel Messi?
      Depending on the world you are in, your perceived value changes. The key word here is “perceived”. If I am 40,000 feet over the ocean, a pilot has a pretty high value to me. If I own a small shop I would value a worker to takes pride and makes sure everything is clean and inviting above a pilot.
      The reality is that value is dependent upon the environment. I have zero value to a complete stranger in another country, but I (hopefully) have some value to my wife and kids. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.