I love a phrase I learned a while back that talks about how the things we do, say or create can bring something good to the recipient, its called: “added value.” If you can learn to bring added value to those who surround you in life and those who cross your path, you’ll never run out of friends. If one can bring added value to the world, then your life will always have meaning… and if you can learn to bring added value to strangers and those you love, then I can undoubtedly assure you more than likely you’ll be a great success. Ever since I was a young man, I’ve understood the power of added value. I remember the first time I truly began to understand it was during college when some of my friends would have tables at nightclubs and there were always these guys that would show up to a crowded entrance and ask for help getting in… the problem is that they were there by themselves, or with even more guys. No added value. They were there to get free access, consume whatever was available at the table. Perhaps this is a dated example, since I’ve long left the party world behind me… and yet I think most of us can understand the concept of people who are usually asking for things and bring little or nothing in return. Added value is the opposite of that.
When the wheels for Global Child Dubai began to be set in motion, I remember spending hours at the gym thinking this: “how can we bring added value” to our destination partners of Dubai. In hindsight, I think the best added value we brought was by assembling such a wonderful filming crew, a great co-host and honestly doing the very best I could with every filming opportunity presented. Yes, I started to realize quite quickly that Dubai was also built on added value. Our experience with the Dubai Tourism Corporation and my now good friends who helped us bring this episode into existence, were constantly looking to support us on our filming journey which always has its challenges. Having now filmed in 28 countries, I can honestly say that the best shows are the ones where we are all looking to bring one another added value: from the hosts, to the crew, to the brand sponsors and even the locals who are doing the best to showcase their wonderful town. In Dubai, we met several friends along the journey and each one of them had moments where they sought to bring added value and it was often those little touches that became the best moments.
One clear example, was when we were filming at the Expo Dubai, and the US Pavilion representative gave us a beautiful pin to wear as we were leaving. It might not seem like a big deal, but we did not expect it. I remember also, while doing the hot-air balloon ride, that the captain Andrew told us that he loved what we did around the world with “travel with purpose” and he volunteered incredible footage of those charity acts without us requesting it.
Last but not least, when we were dinning at the award winning Ossiano underwater restaurant at the Atlantis Hotel, Gabby Thomas our co-host and I were having a wonderful dinner on camera. I remember watching one ray floating across the water… when suddenly I spotted a diver inside the tank next to our table! He held a sign that said: “Always travel with purpose”… It was a delightful surprise and it meant a lot that a person would get into the water, and swim all the way to us to help us propagate that positive message.
You see, the reason why we are writing this blog, is also to bring added value to you. The main motive behind the shows we film, the partnerships we pursue and the give back we do as we create, is precisely that… we want to bring added value. In essence, bringing added value makes the world a better place. So, I want to leave you with this thought… how can you bring added value to three groups of people: the first is those who you love, people like your friends and family. The second group are the strangers that you’ll come across, perhaps in your workplace, or people who you might never know except in passing but you can certainly leave a positive impact on their lives. Lastly, is how is your life leaving added value for future generations?
It’s food for thought, but perhaps if I can give you one key of wisdom that I learnt in Dubai it’s that… always seek first to bring added value to everyone you meet and everywhere you go… the rest of your success and satisfaction, will take care of itself.