Have you ever met someone whose life constantly seemed to be falling to pieces? They seemingly can’t do anything right and always feel like things are getting worse. And, unfortunately for them, they’re right.
Alternately, most of us have known someone for whom things always seem to work out. It’s like everything they touch turns to gold, and their lives just seem to get better and better. And the fact is, their lives are getting better and better.
The difference in these two types of people lies in timeless principle.
We reap what we sow, and we get out of life what we put into it. Call it karma, call it the Golden Rule, the Law of Attraction or the Law of Reciprocity – it’s a universal principle that has remained constant through the ages.
The value we get from life is equal to the value we create. That’s just how it works.
The key for all of us is to start the process of value creation ASAP, and to continue expanding it throughout our lives. Engage more deeply each and every day at work and with your family. Constantly seek opportunities to assist and help others. Take care of your mind, body and soul so they can take care of you.
Go out and increase the substance of your life, and the world will respond in kind with joy, meaning, love, peace of mind, and yes, financial security.
Here are 7 strategies for creating value that will allow you to maximize what you get out of life.
1 – Maximize each moment by staying engaged
Early in my career, I remember being taught by a mentor that a majority of success is predicated on just showing up and being present. Yes, this does include physically being in attendance for meetings and events, but at its heart it means maintaining an active and engaged mind. This is a mind that is always gathering and processing data, constantly making tweaks and adjustments in every area of life.
The ability to simply be present will heighten your effectiveness in everything you do. You will be more focused and efficient at work, more empathetic with your friends and family, and more attuned to your own physical and emotional needs.
Try to be aware of when you’re checking out. At such times, refrain from indulging in further mind-numbing activities like watching TV, zoning out to social media and mindless snacking. You can only maximize the opportunity of a moment if you’re engaged with it.
2 – Build more value by training yourself to start
Arthur Ashe once said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” So many of us fail to accomplish things not because they’re too difficult, but because we never even give them a chance.
Find a way to become action-oriented. Simple ideas for this are using a to-do list or working with an accountability partner.
One good strategy many successful people use is to ask themselves the simple question, “If I knew I was going to be successful in this, what would I do first?” Then they do that.
The key is to be creative and keep moving forward. This will constantly provide new insights and open new doors, allowing you to continually expand your life.
3 – Let yourself be moved
If something inspires you, roll with it. I never considered myself a tree-hugger, but I became very impassioned about saving a several-hundred year old oak tree on my street. I engaged in every way possible to preserve the tree, though it unfortunately was eventually condemned and removed.
The thing is, the energy that I got from the process spilled over into all areas of my life.
I didn’t manage to save the tree, but we came very close in a situation that most believed was a lost cause. I was as driven and effective as I’ve ever been, and the effort helped build my confidence and empower my relationships. It also helped set in motion quite a few other productive efforts in my life.
Let your natural enthusiasm and energy move you. No matter how big or small the pursuit, passion brought to life is always of great value to the world and to yourself.
4 – Get comfortable with uncertainty
They say that without uncertainty, tomorrow can at best only be a stale copy of today. Uncertainty and the unexpected are catalysts for creativity and growth in life!
When we’re thinking about new plans and ventures, the doubt that can arise from uncertainty is your enemy. Trust in the creative process and in your own abilities to learn and adjust along the way. Stay focused on the “what” and the “why” and know in your heart that the “how” will take care of itself.
5 – Give yourself credit and be okay with judgment
I am pretty uncomfortable with criticism, as I know many are. And I can’t tell you how many times in my life fear of criticism has bogged me down.
Try to remember, though, that no one has ever erected a statue of a critic. The recognition and rewards go to the people who are in the fight, the ones trying to push the world around a bit.
What you’re really doing when you try a new idea, when you take action, even when you simply speak up, is expressing yourself to the world. These are acts of vulnerability that are often hard (especially in the face of criticism) but vital if you’re going to create value.
When we’re vulnerable, we’re powerful. Put yourself out there no matter what – let the world respond as it will, and you can learn and adjust from there.
6 – Embrace your evolution: Don’t fear success
Two of the most powerful fears most of us have are fear of change and, almost unbelievably, fear of success.
When you start creating value, things around you can and will begin to change. This can be surprisingly uncomfortable, but you have to stay true to your path and avoid falling back into your stagnant old comfort zones.
The truth is, you may find that some relationships need to be ended and that previous belief systems are ready to be done away with. This can be very difficult, but to get what we’ve never had, we must try things we’ve never done.
When you feel those uncertain butterflies in your stomach, recognize that it’s the feeling of being on the right track, and don’t allow it to stop the progress you’re making.
7 – Be kinder and more gracious
Creating value is really about helping others, and the best place to start is investing more time and positive energy into all your relationships.
This begins with simply being kinder and more attentive to the people in your life. Take greater interest in the new people you meet, and learn to be more gracious in disagreements and disconnects you experience with others.
We can only work so hard and so efficiently. If you want to make the value you create with your life exponential, you can only do so by working with, for and through others. Understand this, and you’ll be able to start maximizing the impact and influence of the relationships that define your life.
The concept of the Butterfly Effect tells us that small actions can have huge implications. It derived its name from the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings can contribute to a hurricane taking place on the other side of the world.
The actions we take are much the same as the Butterfly Effect. Every time we do something, the world changes forever. When we do something positive, the world becomes a better place. And when we direct our lives toward creating greater value, the world will notice and reciprocate.