Value Added

“Value added.”

Technically, the phrase is used to describe the difference between the cost of producing something and the amount a willing buyer would pay.  In other words, there is a value beyond such things as cost of materials and the time invested in production.

In marketing, “value added” sounds more like “bonus.”  You buy laundry detergent to get your clothes clean.  Infusing a pleasant scent in the soap – and your clothes – is an added value.

I probably spend too much time looking for bonuses and conveniences.  What really matters are those basic values that are consistent and sustaining — the things that are at our very core.

As this year begins to wind down, I paused to look back.  The last twelve months has been devastating for many of us — personal struggles, loss of loved ones, a horrible economy, disappointments.  However, the year had a lot of “value added” that accompanied the low points.

In a few weeks, I’ll be leading a workshop on New Year’s resolutions.  I was eager to take that assignment.  At least, I was eager until I realized that it had been years since I had personally resolved to do anything with any true measure of accountability.  So, in the last few weeks, I’ve been walking slowly through my own experience, reading the thoughts of others, and exploring.

My first step has been to identify and clarify what my personal values are – at least at this moment in time.  Personal values don’t change radically.  However, my study has led to the thought that erosion of these values is inevitable without active pursuit.

So dear reader, I thought I would enlist you to hold me accountable.  I’ve identified seven values and I’ve spent some time preparing clarifying statements to encourage me to “act as I believe.”  You are free to question anything you read or to point out a disconnect between my words and my actions.  I hope to share these ideas regularly for awhile.  And I would be honored to hear about your values.  In fact, I will be blessed and challenged.

In my upcoming posts, I will share with you my thoughts on the following values:

  • Faith
  • Family
  • Integrity
  • Peace
  • Friends
  • Gratitude
  • Fitness

Those topics aren’t listed in order of importance.  In fact, I’m learning that in regard to core values, the loss or diminution of any one of them causes me to labor to maintain the rest.

Thanks in advance for indulging me.

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3 Responses to Value Added

  1. Doug Young says:

    I’m looking forward to this!

  2. Takeshia Andre says:

    Good afternoon! After experiencing the loss of many loved ones this year, I, too, have had some time to reflect on what’s realy important in this season of my life and what’s not. Every value you listed is on my reflection list for 2010, along with many other things, however, the one area that is embedded in my heart to live out in this new year is to be grateful for every day I’m given the chance to live again and to make a difference in someone else’s life, (especially when I am going through in my own life the most)!!! Being surrounded by sickness/disease in 2009, and still having several loved ones fighting terminal illnesses, I’ve learned just how short this life can be and how I cannot take one moment I’m given to be here for granted. Death has actually taught me how to appreciate the life I’ve been given and I am thankful to God for every chance I have here in this world to make Him famous. I am aware that I may lose more loved ones in 2010, and that things may not always work out how I would like for them to in life, but, I’ve learned that my happiness is not determined by what’s going on around me….it comes from the One who lives inside of me! As long as I keep Him the center of all that I am and do, I’ll be just fine. His love for me, (and all of YOU), is steadfast, and in 2010, I want to fall more and more in love with Him and those He cares for. I look forward to hearing of the great things you will learn and experience in 2010. Until that time, have a wonderful New Year! God bless.

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