At the root of all success is one primary activity – adding value to those we serve.  It could be adding value to an employee, a customer, a family member, or a complete stranger.

The big question is, “How many of us deliberately seek to add value each and every day?”

We live in an upside-down world, where life has become all about us.  We’re told to take care of ourselves, pursue what we want in life, and grab for everything that makes us feel good.  However, in my opinion, that is living life in exactly the opposite way than we should.

Stop and think about it.  How many people do you know who seem to have it all – the houses, cars, vacations – and yet they are miserable and depressed.  On the surface, they seem to have it all together, but inside they are empty, and they derive little or no joy from their lives.

I have discovered that when I set myself aside in favor of adding value to others, magical, joyous, fulfilling things begin to happen in my life.  I highly recommend that you try it.  I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

So what does adding value look like?  I am convinced that many people don’t seek to add value because they believe that adding value somehow involves large, expensive, magnanimous gestures.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are a few of simple ideas:

  • Find simple ways to make life better for others.  Small acts of kindness go a long way.  Start with your family.  I started by bringing my wife her morning coffee while she was getting ready for work, and that has expanded to making breakfast for her.
  • Be encouraging.  Look for the best in others and tell them about it.  Words of encouragement, sincerely expressed, go a long way to making a person’s day – if not month.
  • Invest in others.  How do you do that?  Two words: time and effort.  Play ball with your kids, go for a walk with your spouse or a friend, tutor a child in your neighborhood.  These things are free – they only require an investment of your time – and yet they pay huge dividends.

So – to whom will you add value today?