Have you stopped to ask yourself this question?

Is what I am doing helping me or helping someone else?

You maybe familiar with a couple guys, Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields who write an awesome blog called The Minimalists & have a Netflix documentary well worth watching. In their writing and conversations they refer to adding value. I didn’t understand what they were referring to, until they visited Adelaide. I attended their event and it was here I gained clarity on what they meant by adding value.

It boils down to this one thing.

Is what you are doing benefiting you or anyone else?

If the answer is no. Then, perhaps consider alternatives.

Adding value to others and yourself is closely linked to:

  • Kindness – adding value to someone by making them the beneficiary of an act of kindness.
  • Gratitude – adding value to someone by telling or showing them how much you appreciate them.
  • Service – adding value to someone by serving/doing something for someone.

You Choose

Is watching a reality TV program really adding value to you?
Is reading a book that you can learn from adding greater value to you?

Is buying McDonalds takeaway adding value to you and your families health?
Is cooking a healthy meal at home adding more value to you and your families health?

Is buying unnecessary items of clothing, toys and gadgets going to add value to you?
Is it going to add more value to you by using that money to pay down debt or put in a savings account?

Is gossiping about people or focusing on a minor negative adding value to the person you are talking to?
Is focusing the discussion on all the amazing things we have in our lives that we are grateful for adding more value to you and the person you are talking to?

Is sitting at home wondering if I should volunteer somewhere adding value to anyone?
Is taking action and becoming a volunteer going to add value to others?

It comes back to the 80/20 rule. If you choose to add value to yourself and others 80% of the time happiness levels increase. I have taken this approach and it works.

Modelling this approach and teaching children to add value to themselves and others will plant the seed for happiness in children.

Adding value to others is an awesome feeling. Feeding yourself value, be it through exercise and healthy eating or taking steps to achieve goals leads to fulfilment and happiness.

The picture below is an example of one of my daily positive reflections from a few years back (I chose this one because it’s half readable. My handwriting, is not great). I have developed this habit and it has worked for me. It helps me focus on making sure I add value to me and others on a daily basis. I want to share this activity, as it may help you too.

Back to Ryan and Joshua, The Minimalists. They both basically sold all there possessions and only kept essential items that would add value to them. There busy, cluttered and depressed lives dramatically turned to happiness when they took the approach to only keeping essential items they believed would add value to them.

An example of how they add value to others is by only emailing people if they think it will add value to them and they only write blog posts to add value to others.

Joshua and Ryan believe with less, they have less things to worry and stress about. Adding value to others and themselves has led to an abundance of happiness.

You maybe thinking I have children how can this be done. Here is an article titled No Excuses: Minimalism with Kids.

Relevant to the Classroom

Is your class full of distractions? Such as:

  • Over the top displays
  • Too many resources
  • Built up junk
  • Students work that is laying around the classroom

Is what you have in your classroom adding value to you and your students?

If yes. Awesome. If not, it’s time for a class party clean out.

By decluttering a classroom, there is less distractions for students, enabling for greater concentration.

I hope this article has added value to your life.

Action Item

At the end of today write down:

  • 3 ways you added value to yourself during the day
  • 3 ways you added value to others during the day

Try it for a week. You will find yourself searching for ways to add value to others and yourself.

I would love to hear your adding value stories. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Growing With Gratitude Blog
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Twitter: @grow_gratitude

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