How to add value to someone's life

How to add value to someone’s life

Do I regularly add value to someone else’s life?

This morning I listened to Cary Neiuwhof’s leadership podcast about how to do a successful book launch. The book launch part was really overwhelming and intimidating because I’m planning a book launch for next summer, and I’m really panicked that my book club friends will be the only non-family people to buy my book.

But that’s not important right now. What impressed me most about the podcast was Cary’s reminder that whether we can get people to help us or not (in this case, promote a book), our actions should add value to their lives. The book launching example means giving free downloads, giveaways, podcasts, etc. What do I give away on a regular basis?

This got me thinking about how to add value to someone’s life instead of only to myself. Do my everyday actions—my working, my downtime, my chores, my messaging—add value to someone’s day? Or do I rampage through my day, trying to make things happen for me, trying to find peace, joy, beauty, and belonging midst the chaos that I’ve created for myself?

Most of us add value to people’s lives intentionally. We make time to cheer on our kids, help with homework, call parents, take a friend to lunch. These are good things, and those of us who are nice people do them.

Adding value can be time-consuming, especially when you’re not used to it. It requires space in your schedule and in your perspective. Mostly, it requires moments, like when the drama queen in your life shares something and instead of rolling your eyes, you affirm her deepest insecurities. It’s when you give time and patience to an angry teenager, even though you’d rather walk out of the room. It’s when you notice what makes people happy and you generate happiness for them.

The power of a life is felt in these inconsequential moments. It’s the voice, smile, or hug. The favorite cookie or coffee at just the right time. It’s often the look traveling across a tense room that says You’re important when other people are insinuating that you’re not. Added value become stories, testimonies, and tributes. They are not resumes or eulogies.

I’m a little convicted about my unintentional living, too. Do I add value to other people’s lives without even trying? Do I speak kindly, advise humbly, honor regularly? Is giving back a natural occurrence or do I have to consciously do it?

Let’s all add some value to someone’s life today. Here’s some suggestions for all of us: Listen without texting. Smile at others because they’re special for no reason at all. Help because you want to, not because you have to. Give away something without wanting something back. Accompany someone, support someone, sponsor someone.

Because everybody’s valuable, but not everybody knows it.

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