Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 May 2021
There are numerous ways to add value and make a contribution. We can offer gifts of the heart, the head, and the hand. We can provide emotional support, ideas, or tangible help. When it comes to adding value to our own lives, we can increase our happiness, study new things, find meaning in life, and develop physically and spiritually. There are really countless ways to make our life more exciting, goal-oriented, virtuous, and passionate, and it is up to each one of us to discover what actions will make that happen. Needless to say, our opportunities are influenced by the environment we live in. Some social ecologies are more supportive than others, but the aspiration to add value remains, regardless of the particular context. The needs to make a difference, to master the environment, and to express ourselves are well ingrained in all of us. We yearn to be in control of our destiny and to learn new skills. These needs are expressions of self-determination and the pursuit of meaning.
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