How to Add Value Into the Lives of Others


How to Add Value Into the Lives of Others

How much value do you bring to the table?

Come on, no need to be modest. You need to be brutally honest.

Do you feel like you contribute to other people’s lives in a meaningful and positive way?

Do you give more than you take?

It’s a strange question to ask, almost egotistical, because you might not think about friendships and relationships as an exchange of value.

But beneath the surface of every meeting, get together, and relationship is a constant exchange.

When you meet someone new for the first time, you look for common interests. You look to relate and figure out if you’d enjoy spending time together.

You size the other person up and ask yourself, “Would I enjoy spending time alone with this person?”

Take it one step further and the next question becomes “Would this person be a good fit for my other friends?”

There’s a reason why we don’t bring every stranger into our closer inner-circles. This person has to mesh well with different personalities and bring something to the table (preferably something positive and fun.)

And it all comes down to whether or not this person delivers positive value.

Are you a good friend? Do you add to the atmosphere?

You add value by being a good listener.

You add value by empathizing and offering your honest opinions. You understand how and when to give constructive feedback.

You add value by relating.

You add value by teaching your friends something they might not have known before.

You add value by introducing people to one another (who in turn, add value to each other’s lives.)

There are thousands of ways to add value and it isn’t limited to friendships.

It’s a mindset that you take everywhere and it’ll eventually reward you. I don’t mean this in a spiritual sense either.

It’s how people work. Do enough good for others and they will want to return the favor.

This works in social, romantic, and professional contexts.

Make no mistake, adding value to other people’s lives without considering how much value they add into your own life is a one-way ticket to being a doormat.

You don’t want to be a pushover. You want to look at your own relationships and determine how much value they add into your life.

Value is a key that opens many doors.

Set some time aside to reflect and ask yourself:

How do you add value into the lives of others?

Then ask:

How much value do others add into my life?

The following two tabs change content below.
Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

Latest posts by Vincent Nguyen (see all)

18 responses to How to Add Value Into the Lives of Others

  1. Nice thought-provoker there! It’s true that every interaction involves an exchange of value in the way you describe.

    As an economist, it comes natural to view the world in this way, especially when you consider the principle of returned value. Basically, any value you provide to the world will be fully returned to you in a different form. Some people call it Karma – I call it economic principles!

    • Same here! I look at it in economic terms instead of spiritual. There’s nothing wrong with the latter but I believe the former puts the ball in your court more.

      • I guess it all depends on your personality and mindsets – some people are just more into numbers than others. But yeah, I think viewing these matters through an economic “lens” make them more tangible and easier to handle!

  2. It also depends on WHO you are adding value to. If it’s undeserving people (“the takers”), it will only build up resentment within yourself over time. Then you will start to question why you are contributing so much in the first place. Adding value is good but one should be judicious in how they do so.

    For myself, I’ll look at how I am adding value; how much money, time and effort (MTE) I am investing and finally, who I am adding value to. What are the tangible and non-tangible returns on my MTE when I add value to others.

    • Boom! Great addition here and that’s something everyone should consider. Are the people I do good for good people themselves? Is this kindness that I’m providing or am I being taken advantage of.

      Never be a doormat, especially for those who aren’t deserving of your value.

  3. Very thoughtful column, Vincent.

  4. A very good reminder to realise your time is VALUABLE – use it where it matters and in a way that does something for others.

  5. If this qualifies as “food for thought,” I’ve had a delicicious meal!

    Thank you again, for being pithy and poignant, all at once. 🙂

  6. I used to be a ‘relationship freeloader’, but now I’ve started to try to contribute more, as far as planning activities for friends and me, and just more actively communicating with them. I try to introduce them to new ideas more than before, books as well, but I know I can do more. Thanks for the reminder Vincent.

    • Ragnar, can you introduce me to some new books too? What are you reading at the moment?

      • I really liked ‘The Art of War’, and I’m reading ‘The Republic’ by Plato right now, and it actually reads a lot easier than I had imagined. Something about books from over a thousand years ago adds a level of… I don’t know, almost a sort of magical feeling.

        Not sure how you feel about fiction, but I’m working my way through ‘Infinite Jest’, and it’s heavy and long but good.’The Heart of Darkness’ was scary, something of an accidental look into the past and the mindless acceptance of inequality and slavery, but involuntarily morbidly funny at times.

        I plan to read ‘Tao Te Ching’ and ‘The Tao of Pooh’ soon, will let you know if worth reading if you haven’t already.

  7. You are always short and “sweet”. I liken the situation you propose to a “conversation”. If I meet a person for the first time, it will depend on the purpose of our conversation and potential relationship will I help to add value. If I am talking to a total stranger on a plane, I would give few information and if there’s mutual liking, it may go further into some advice, establish contact or later a relationship. But no matter what level of relationship you have when you begin a conversation, making it meaningful will somehow land you with truly valuable finds. Maybe not at every moment but you will. Even if you don’t, by trying to make meaningful conversations, you kinda leave a legacy marked in the other person’s mind 😉

    • “by trying to make meaningful conversations, you kinda leave a legacy marked in the other person’s mind”

      This is a great point and it’s something you might not even be aware you’re doing! Some people may mention the impact you’ve had in passing but imagine all the people who are secretly grateful. They’re all thinking it and you haven’t a clue. The important thing is that you’re making the effort.

  8. This will help people to achieve the things they want to do in their life. I think thoughts can really become things if you are 100% honest with yourself.

  9. That is so inspiring . When I was teaching we had a concept value added method . You add up all the costs and it gives us total cost .
    When we add people in numbers ,each one has some special skill and you are an excellent writer .

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>