The Case for Adding Value

While I often enjoy a good, wholesome chat sesh with girlfriends over topics that uniquely plague Kosovo girls, I don’t have much of an itch for philosophy otherwise.

One (philosophical, if you will) concept I very much live by, however, is that of always intending to add value. Let me explain.

Exhibit A-dding value to a gift. Box is from Remember Me; ribbon, flowers and glitter from Talens.

I learned about this from my parents. Both my mom and my dad boast a great work ethic, and they don’t shy away from over-planning and over-delivering on small and large projects alike. I appreciated this as a child, and I quickly recognized the benefits that come with taking that extra step in life. As such, I grew up internalizing that sometimes, it’s not just the thought that counts, it’s also the execution.

I don’t believe it’s not enough to just tick something off your list and go about your day on autopilot. For something to ultimately matter, it needs to be done with care. Heck, I think Albanians actually have a natural knack for this. That’s what doing something with marifet really is all about, right? This is not to say that one should always aim for perfect, as there is no such thing. One of my favorite sayings is that perfect is the enemy of the good, and often times, I find that striving for perfection, just means secretly choosing procrastination.

The way I understand the concept of adding value, is that, if something is going to pass through me, I better make sure that it ends up, at the very least, being a beautiful product that I can proudly boast about to my friends. I aim to add value, and I am to execute well.

The benefit to this is that all in all, you end up with a better life for yourself and others. A net win for everyone! You’re not just passing through and passing things on. You’re creating, be it things or experiences for others. The once mundane becomes instantly more interesting.

So what are some simple ways you can add value? Well, here’s a couple of things we can all do right away:

  1. When talking on the phone with loved ones, be present and really listen and ask questions. Learn about their day, and ask how they are doing (instead of just going through the generic greetings).
  2. If you want to send someone a card, go for a clean simple design – nothing ugly! – and pick a good pen and a good saying to go along. Don’t just write “HBD” on it with your blue ink pen. If you want to make someone a card, really put in the effort to source good materials. Talens has great thick paper that works great!
  3. If you’re completing a mundane office task, take the time to reformat the document you’re working on. Take care of the font, size, alignment and spacing. Arial 12pt, with bolded headings, is my go to sleek look. Take the time to name the document properly as well. I once saw attachments titled “1.docx” and “2.docx”. That’s anything but adding value.
  4. Bring some chocolate on your next coffee date. That person will love the extra sweetness, and you’ll instantly elevate the experience. Bonus points if you pick an elegant chocolate, like Rafaelo, and not just a Mars bar cut in half.
  5. If you’re gifting someone something, go the extra step (see Exhibit A above). Like I said, I don’t believe it’s just the thought that counts, it’s also the thought you put into the execution. Put in some effort with wrapping it well. When in doubt, just use tissue paper and ribbon. Both very elegant and very forgiving.

What are your favorite ways to add value to something? Let me know!