Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Adding Value

Adding Value –

Recognizing that our words, actions (and the priorities we set), can increase or diminish value; how can we take personal responsibility in establishing habit patterns that ensure we are increasing the worth of those around us?

As we have seen in previous blogs, value is something that WE can determine in our daily actions, and that value is not always conditional upon the response of someone else.  I make it a point of distancing myself from people that seek to over inflate their own self-worth or diminish the value of another. Everyone is of equal value as a human being, but not all people are able to live with that confident assurance. 

Those which suffer from a rejection syndrome, have a tendency to get their value from diminishing someone else’s. This is often done by the use of criticism, or behaviour that “belittles” and “pulls down.” Alternatively, the converse applies, when an over-inflated opinion of self holds the value of others as inferior to theirs.

So how do we know which category we fall into? Are we insecure in our own self-image, or over confident to the point that others can’t meet our exacting standards and opinion of self?  

·       Firstly, be vulnerably honest with one’s- self.

That is easier said than done, as the image that we hold of ourselves, is rarely the image that is shared by public opinion. Perhaps the reason why so many people suffer from poor self-image is because of the influencing power that the media and those around us have, and who are we trying to please anyway? Be unique, everyone else is taken! However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because everyone on earth is unique too!

Self-image is really an oxymoron. Self is about oneself, whereas image is perceived by others. What we project is a reflection of our uniqueness, yet so many are preoccupied with presenting an image that society wants to see, and that is neither unique nor truly self.

Our goal is not to impress, but to reflect; but to reflect what?

We were born unique, unlike anyone else on earth, and within that uniqueness, comes a responsibility to add worth to those around us who may not as yet recognise their own uniqueness. There is no greater privilege than being able to impart worth and value to another human being, and we can so easily do that without finances, (although this may also be required in some way). 

Here are some simple and cost effective ways of adding value to those around us:

·         Say thank you and mean it
·         Recognise and reward (with kindness) the work of others
·         Encourage those around you (encouragement is a powerful resource)
·         Learn to smile and make a habit of doing so to strangers
·         Pay it forward
·         Send and encouraging post or email to someone you don’t currently include
·         When the opportunity to devalue someone else comes along, don’t.
·         Make a mental note of your language. Does it build up or pull down?
·         Look for daily opportunities to help those which cannot or will not reward you
·         Invest time into someone who needs it
·         For Christmas, give a gift anonymously to someone that’s come to your attention
·         Pray for someone, a people group, a Nation, a neighbour or the needy. But don’t be surprised if a window of opportunity arises out of your concern, for uniqueness is found in the specialness of others.

I wholeheartedly believe that the key to recognising ones uniqueness and personal value is found when our focus turns away from self. Preoccupation with self, has a way of inflating one’s own value, where serving the needs of another, increases theirs. The intrinsic value of that simple act, is the true distribution of wealth.

·         Secondly, prioritise your focus

We pass this way but once! Every second counts, every hour counts as does each day, week, month, and year. The younger we are, the less aware we are of eternity, which is why so many young people believe they are infallible and take risks without due consideration. As we age, we become more focused on quality than we are with quantity. A job well done and cause worthy of our investment will supersede any ethereal role that merely occupies our time.

Gone are the days when our generation will just mark time with meaningless activity. If there is no long term benefit for our investment, then what is the true outcome of one’s effort. Marketing guru’s, understand this well, which is why advertising, profiles “the effects” of our stake In a product or service and not just the temporal benefits. Adding value to a product, service or individual is primarily determined by the focus we give to it. The stronger the focus, the more value we give.

If you say “my family” is my most important asset, then how do you prioritise them in your daily schedule? Maybe you say, an individual is the most important thing to me right now? Then what value do you give that person based on your time, words, activities and such? Perhaps you have a goal in life to be financially sound and free of debt? Then what priorities and habits are in place to ensure that outcome?

All too often, we verbalise a priority but our activities say different. It’s a contradiction in terms, to say that we value something but the priority we give to it, actually devalues it.

Adding value to a product, service, organisation, activity or relationship, is really about taking the base elements which are of limited value and placing a higher worth upon it. We do this by:

·         The words we use,
·         The activities we invest into it
·         The priority we award to it on a day by day basis

The way we approach life on a day to day basis, defines the value we are giving to it. Action expresses priority!  I can’t ever recall hearing a person’s last words being, “I wish I had given more priority to the hours I worked, rather than those I love”. Sadly, we only really understand the value of something when its no longer in our life. You see, its never about HAVING enough time, its about MAKING enough time. "Priority places added value".

So what are adding value to?