It is argued that a major failing with most existing measures of self-esteem is that they do not even attempt to take into account the value system of the individual subject. A relatively straightforward method of measuring self-esteem was proposed based on an aggregate of a subject's self-ratings in different areas of his life weighted by the relative importance of those life areas to the subject. This approach is used to develop a measure of self-esteem for Australian tertiary students. A self-esteem questionnaire was also developed, based on life areas important to other Australian college students. An evaluation of these two instruments is then reported based on 235 Psychology students at Melbourne University. Some implications of this approach to the structure of self-esteem itself are considered.