“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman
I’m giving a name to one of the most important habits I want to work on. I’m calling it The Value Creation Habit.
By giving it a name, I can focus on it. I can evaluate how much time I spend in it. And, I can get better at it over time.
The idea of The Value Creation Habit, is simple:
Spend more time giving your best where you have your best to give.
The idea is to spend more time in high-value activities, and less time in overhead, or things that don’t generate value for your and for others.
So many days (weeks, months, years) can fly by, without spending much time, if any, in creating the value that only we can create, if we don’t deliberately focus on it and invest in it.
At the same time, every day is a chance to find ways to spend more time in The Value Creation Habit.
Spend More Time In Value Creation
What The Value Creation Habit means is spending more time in your strengths, creating value for whoever you serve.
Life’s better with a mission: “I help people ________” (fill in the blank.)
And your mission is better when you play to your strengths, and create unique value, that only you can create.
It’s how you fill the great, gaping void (and don’t add to the overflowing shelf of “Me, Too”s).
That’s the stuff that great craftsmen, great authors, great entrepreneurs, and great companies are made of.
We all have a knack for something, but we don’t always use it.
Well, use it or lose it.
If you don’t use your gifts, you lose the opportunity to realize your potential and to make your greatest impact, and to touch the lives of others in your most awe-inspiring way. (One way to measure a life is to measure the people whose lives you’ve touched.)
Do What Makes You Come Alive
Don’t die with your music in you. Whether you think of it as doing what you were born to do, or simply doing what makes you come alive, or your One Thing, do more of it.
As a friend of mine would say, “Do more art.” What he means is it’s easy to let stuff get in the way of the things you truly want to do, and are gifted for.
Don’t ask for permission, don’t wait, just do more art—your art– and you’ll come alive in anything and everything you do.
The Value Creation Habit is another way to achieve more Flow.
Create More Fulfillment
There are three paths of happiness. One way is to enjoy the moment. It’s right here, right now. Another way, is to spend more time in your values. The third way, and the way of deep fulfillment, is in the service of others, giving your best where you have your best to give.
They aren’t mutually exclusive, and the three paths to happiness help give meaning to the things you already do every day.
And, they help identify things you should do more of if you want more impact and more fulfillment.
You Get What You Give
You might think of it like Karma, where what goes around comes around.
Or, you might like how Zig Ziglar put it:
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
Or, you might simply think of The Value Creation Habit as a way to leave your tiny footprints on the sands of time.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
20% of our activities, generate 80% of our results. Do more of the 20%. Your 20%. Squeeze out the low-value stuff, by spending more time on high-value stuff. As Bruce Lee would say, “Hack away at the unessential.”
Who would you rather be around? The you that spends a bunch of time on things that suck your life force out. Or, the you that spends time doing what makes you come alive, where you rise and shine, find your flow, get your groove on, and make magic happen.
I want to surround myself with people who thrive doing what they do best, in their element, and en fuego.
Do What You Do Best
Do what you do best, and do more of it.
This is how you amplify your impact.
If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a runner, run. If you’re a developer, then code. If you’re an entrepreneur, then start, ship, and grow more ideas. If you’re a leader, then lead.
But give it your twist, and do it your special way. Be the poet who makes the world feel. Be the developer who builds the apps that change the world. Be the teacher that molds the minds of the future.
Create Your Personal Dojo Wherever You Are
At home or at work, practice your craft, and master your craft.
Your create your dojo wherever you go.
You’ll get better and better at value creation, through focus and feedback.
If you listen, and really listen, and apply what you learn, you’ll compound your value creation ability.
Make The Value Creation Habit a Habit
The idea of a habit is to focus on practice and learning.
Making something a habit means you don’t have to get it right. It means you work at it, and get better.
Creating little routines and rituals for your habit, will make it easier to practice your habit.
Don’t just get up to bat once and swing for the fence. Make it batting practice. Keep getting up to bat. The more you get up to bat, the better you’ll get over time. And, the more time you spend in your high-value activities, and your place of strength, the more you’ll multiply and compound your results.
Getting Started with The Value Creation Habit
Let’s keep it simple.
- Create a personal appointment on your calendar where you will spend time giving your best, where you have your best to give.
- Do it.
- Review how you do, and find ways to spend more time in The Value Creation Habit.
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Image by Emily Rose.