How Does Self-Improvement Add Value to Others?

Have you heard of the phrase, “greater than the sum of its parts”? This saying has been around for a long time, and most people use it in reference to organizations (where the parts are the people that make up the organization) or to describe a system that increases efficiencies. This can also be used to describe every single individual. After all, we are an extremely complex system of physical and mental processes.

For example: when you run consistently, you increase your stamina. You can go from running a mile in 15 minutes to under 8 minutes. This improvement plays out in other places of your life. You can find more energy to complete that household project that’s been sitting for awhile. You could wake up earlier, giving you the time you need to read those books.

In this way, improving your stamina doesn’t just mean you can run a mile faster. It means you can do more work around the house. It means you can pay attention to details better. This relatively small change increases the efficiencies in your physical and mental processes. At that point, the improvements you make to different aspects of your life can have an effect that helps you become greater than the sum of your parts.

That self-improvement can help you improve other peoples’ lives. Maybe that extra bit of energy means you can volunteer for that youth organization you read about. Who knows, maybe you’ll wind up as a host for an exchange student. Or you could help your local Habitat for Humanity branch build a home for a family. Having lived in a Habitat for Humanity house, I can tell you that living in your own home for the first time is an amazing experience and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of volunteers. Or you might find an opportunity to lead a small team to raise money for a no-kill animal shelter.

There are thousands of things you can do every day to help improve someone else’s life- but only if you help yourself get better first. What are you waiting for? Someone out there needs help that only you can provide, so take your first step to add value to the world.