John C. Maxwell’s List of Five Things to Add Value to Your Life and to Others

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Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life.
People who lead their life intentionally add value to others.
John C. Maxwell

One of our human needs is to feel we are significant and of value … to feel worthwhile … but how does one fill that need? Rehearsing how we perform and respond to life’s situations and circumstances in our minds is a great technique used in sports, in giving speeches or just about anything else, but it can also back fire.

Sometimes, we rehearse dreadful things happening in the future, not just positive ones. We imagine little problems growing into big problems and we worry about whether we’ll be able to handle them. Some psychologists point out that much of our anxiety centers around problems that don’t even exist yet.

John C. Maxwell, author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, focusing on leadership, says leaders lift others up. He says the difference between accepting your life and leading your life is intentionality. John believes that everything worthwhile is uphill but notes that most people have uphill hopes and downhill habits. The only way to break downhill habits is to live intentionally. People who accept the premise that everything worthwhile is uphill, are the people who live, and lead, with intentionality; thus, feeling significant, valued and worthwhile.

I heard John Maxwell speak a couple of weeks ago. One of the ways he distinguished someone who accepts their life (downhill habits) from someone who leads their life (intentionality) is that they are always adding value to others.

Here is the list of five things John Maxwell suggests doing every day, to add value to others, and ultimately to your life:

  1. Value people. You can spend your life either connecting with people or correcting people. If you value them, you will be connecting.
  2. Think of ways to add value to people. Be upfront in your thinking; think ahead of time to the next week, the next day, or the next meeting. Ask yourself, “How will I intentionally add value to someone else’s life?” John shares the example of his nine-year old grandson who gets the concept of adding value to other people. One morning John asked his grandson what he was going to do today to add value to other people. After his grandson thought about it for a while, he decided that he was going to open as many doors as possible for people, and smile. He kept his word and was very intentional about adding value to other people. He proudly reported back to his grandfather that he had opened 42 doors, and smiled! If a nine-year-old can intentionally add value to others, we can do the same.
  3. Look for ways to add value when you are with people. This takes it one step further, you’re not only planning, you’re acting in the moment; you’re intentionally looking for ways to add value to people, all the time.
  4. Ask yourself at the close of every day, did I add value to people today. Adding value becomes so interwoven into the fabric of your being that you begin and end your day thinking about how you added value to others.
  5. Encourage others to add value to people. Imagine being part of a circle of friends and family, an organization, a group of people where everyone intentionally focused on adding value to others. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful place to be?

Live intentionally for excellence, by adding value to others today, tomorrow and every day and you will add significance and value to your life.

Betty Franklin
Betty Franklin
Betty Franklin is a Mental Fitness & Wellbeing Expert. After a 30-year career working on the frontlines of healthcare, supporting and caring for people dealing with illness and disease, she transitioned her nursing career outside the institutional setting to help people stay healthy and live fuller, more vibrant lives. She does this through one-on-one coaching, delivering powerful seminars and her book called G.U.T.S. - Get Uncomfortable To Succeed, Embracing Health, Balance and Abundance. With a practical, well-rounded approach to mental and physical wellbeing, Betty's seminars and coaching program provide clients with clarity, direction and support to enhance their health and life. She simplifies what you need and want, how you can attain it, and helps you understand what's holding you back. People who work with Betty notice a clearer perspective emerging as they learn and grow, and as they stay accountable. Ultimately, they reach where they want to be faster, and with greater ease.