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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Adding Value

adding value

If you ever need me, call me, I’ll come running straight to you.

—Brett Dennen, “Sydney”

Adding value to someone else’s life is one of the most important things you can do with your life, and it has nothing to do with money.

Why is adding value to others so important? Well, adding value is the only way to get another person’s buy-in, and it’s one of the few ways to get other people to believe in you as an individual.

When you’re adding value to someone’s life, you are contributing to that person in a meaningful way. This is important in all facets of life—in leadership positions, in friendships, while meeting and connecting with new people, at your job, and with your family.

If you want people to respect you, then you must add value to their lives. Otherwise you are dead weight, you are a cancer, a parasite, a bug on a dead thing.

And we all know that that ain’t you.

There are many ways you can add value. You can…

  • Create something someone can use
  • Inspire someone to take action
  • Lend a helping hand
  • Be a shoulder to cry on
  • Show someone how to do something
  • Show someone a better way
  • Provide a new perspective
  • Lead by example
  • Listen more
  • Give your full attention
  • Just be there for someone
  • Love them

It’s important to add value in an authentic way, in a way that doesn’t have an alterior motive, in a way that is genuine and helpful and unassuming. Colin Wright calls this paying it way forward.

We have all benefited from someone’s added value in the past. The two of us started this website last year because we were inspired and encouraged by the value created by several people: Leo Babauta, Colin Wright, and Joshua Becker. Those people added value to our lives, enough value that we were compelled to change and improve our own lives. Their work had a profound impact on us, leading us to make significant changes—some of which were incredibly difficult at times—and live a more meaningful life, a life in which we’re growing as individuals and contributing to others in a meaningful way, a life in which we’re not concerned with the ostensible value of material items but with the value we can add to other people, and for that we are eternally grateful.

Thus, we find it important to add value to other people whenever we can. In fact, you’re reading this because we created this site to add value to other people, to add value to your lives. We also donate our time to charity. We listen more than we talk. We care about other people. And we love.

Who adds value to your life? How do you add value to others?