This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
It is subject to comments, criticisms and corrections, and all will be dealt with constructively and do leave your comments I would love to hear from you.
There is no intention to offend, discriminate nor degrade anybody or anything for that matter, only shared feelings, emotions and angsts at the moment.
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Choose, Success or Significance?

We all want to be financially stable, who isn't? To have enough to spend and more to store. It is a great motivator and controls most people's lives. It chooses occupations, and controls how time, energy and resources are used. It can influence relationships, schedules and even our families. There are more people so consumed by this passion that many are left broken and moralities in question.
I think we are not called to make this passion our life. In fact, compared to significance, it fades just like that.
I have learned that success is like a tide, it comes and flows with the rise and fall of economy.  As recent years have proven, financial success is always at the mercy of a national economy and increasingly, a world economy. When the economy goes down (as it always does), so does net worth.
Success also ends on the day we die. All wealth and possessions will be immediately transferred to someone else. And even if we get to pick where they go, the reality is that person is always someone other than us. And it is never enough. Financial success will never satisfy the innermost desires of our soul. No matter the amount of financial success earned, it always leaves us wanting more.

On the other hand, significance always lasts. Significance will always outlast us. Even when we are no longer present, our significance will still be ours. And nothing can ever take that away from us. It carries on. Significance keeps on giving. When you positively change the life of another human being and that person changes the life of another who impacts the life of another who influences another, it gets paid off forward. 
I think significance also satisfies our soul. While the thirst for success is never quenched, significance satisfies our deepest heart and soul. It allows us to lay our head on our pillow each night confident that we lived a valuable and fulfilling day.

Unfortunately, many people spend most of their lives chasing financial success. And while some achieve it more than others, many will never find it in the end. When they begin to shift their life focus to significance instead of success, they wonder why they wasted most of their life chasing something different.

Don’t waste any of your life. I suggest to seek significance today. How? Let's see...

Realize that life won’t last forever. We know that we will eventually die but no one wants to think about it. Sad, why? Because I believe that when we think that we will eventually expire, we can begin to live differently, at this moment. We are never too young or old to start to think about our legacy. How do we want to be remembered, and what do we really want to accomplish before we die? I don't want to sound morbid, I am just simply saying, that if we were to make a list of things we would like to be thought of, I am pretty sure we will not find there "drive a nice BMW!"

Try to live a life worth imitating. Live with character, integrity, and morality. Our life should look the same in private as it does in public. And while no one is perfect, just begin striving for a life of integrity. It will be noticed.

Let's try to focus on people. Not money. Begin to change our life’s focus from our bank accounts to the people around us. Rather than worrying about the how to get-rich-quick blah,blah, blah, spend that energy focusing on our family, our neighbor, or the disadvantaged in our community.

Maybe we can start with one person. Find one person who needs us today. Start there. Significance may be as inexpensive as one cup of coffee or as simple as one heartfelt question. If we are unsure on how to start, how about with a smile.
Let us find a career outside our job. Sometimes, our day job leads to significance. But if ours does not, find a “career of significance” outside of our job by learning something else and be great at it (like I did photography). Most likely, our gifts, talents, or expertise are desperately needed. Use our job to pay the bills, but use our “new career” to pay our soul.

I know that too many people think that, “once I make it rich, I’ll become significant.” I don't think so. Let's try to choose significance today. Begin striving for it now. If, then, financial success comes our way in the future, our mind will be in a better place to truly use our new success for broader significance.

Reduce our expenses. Yes we can learn to live with less. Living with less frees up our life to invest into others. And living with reduced expenses allows us the freedom to not spend so much time at the office and more resources on others.

Read books of people who sought significance rather than success. The lives and writings of these authors will inspire us to make more of ours.
People don't often look back on their lives and savor their professional achievements. Instead, they celebrate the impact they have had in the lives of others. Give ourselves much to look back and celebrate. Stop chasing success. Start seeking significance.

I am.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, Carlo, this post was like looking into my own mind. I totally agree with every word. As an American, this scenario is played out in home after home. We call it, "keeping up with the Joneses." Every one wants what the other has. Covetousness. God has strictly warned against it. My view on life (as a poor person hehe) is let me do for you until I have nothing left inside of me, and then God will fill me back up again, and I'll start all over. The other day in the grocery store a lady needed me to reach the top of the shelf (I'm a tall person) and when she said, "thank you," my absolute true heart reaction was to tell her, "thank you for letting me help you." I loved that moment so much. It's truly more blessed to give than to receive. I don't think people are ever more alive than when they help another..or show love for that person. God bless you for this Carlo. You're certainly doing your part to make the world a better place.