Beyond Success to Significance

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no lack of enthusiasm". Winston Churchill
I have had my share of successes and failures in my life. In fact, failure seems to be a rite of passage to success. I don't want to give young people the wrong idea - if you can go straight to success and skip the failures by all means... do that. The point is - don't fear the failures, embrace them, because they make the successes all that much sweeter.
I took a management seminar early in my career and the speaker referred to a progression we move through in our professional lives from Survival to Stability to Success to Significance.
This model of progressive movement through these stages of existence identifies, not only the growth we experience as Humans, but also that success is not an end in itself but a step on a journey towards Significance. Significance is where we use lessons learned in Survival and Stability and the resources we acquired through our Successes to give back and help others.
We move though this process with varying speed and efficiency. Significance will mean something different to each of us - it will also have different meaning at different times in our lives. For the most part it has to do with giving back that which we have received so abundantly; however, the metrics by which we guage Significance is based on our own internal moral compass.
The critical point here is that we ought to always move through our lives with the understanding and deep belief that we are capable of Significance. By acknowledging this we save ourselves from settling for the dram of Survival the mediocracy of Stability or the indulgence of Success - all states that have value in their own right.
Even when we believe we are headed towards Significance, most of us have little or no idea of how this will manifest itself in our lives. An orientation toward goals or a vision based on our internal compass is important. If we narrow it down much more than that we run the risk of selling ourselves short or missing it altogether. It has been my experience that I really don't know what's good for me. My successes have mostly involved me getting out of the way and working hard.
If we are true to our beliefs and put 100% of our attention into doing "the next right thing" in our day to day lives we will move through this process in the most effortless and efficient manner. Conversely the harder we try to project and bend events to our will the harder we will work and the end result will be watered down.
As you move though the rest of the day, week, month, year and so on apply 100% of your attention and energy on the task at hand. Focus on those things that support you in your efforts to get more of the things you want in your life. If you find yourself doing something that is working against this end - STOP. Regroup quickly and do something else.
As you look back and take inventory you will see that Significance has manifested in ways far more fulfilling and substantial than you could have ever engineered. This is my experience and has worked for me in a all circumstance over the last thirty years.


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