Many times we confuse success with significance. We spend so much time trying to reach the goals in front of us and very little time thinking about why we have those goals in the first place.
Merriam-Webster defines being Significant in these 3 ways:
1. Having meaning
Does your life mean something to you? Do you think you are on this earth for a purpose? If so, then you probably want to live a certain way and accomplish specific things while you are alive. What goals have you set to make this happen?
2. Having or likely to have influence or effect
A focus on success is usually based on selfish motives. A focus on significance realizes that our lives can and should have a positive influence on those around us. Do you take the responsibility of influence seriously? Do you purposefully grow your level of influence?
Everyone wants to feel important. All of us want our lives to be ones that are wanted, needed and valued. The question we have to ask is, “What makes my life valuable?” Are we content with the value of our life being based on what we can offer an employer, or do we really believe there are other ways to add value to the world?
A significant life will not happen by accident. Just like being successful takes focused decisions over a long period of time, significance requires us to shoot for a specific target.
Over the past few years, I have watched my children grow from babies to the nine, seven and three-year olds that they are today. I have missed many days that I will never get back. As a dad, I want to make a difference in their lives. I know it is my job to discipline, teach, love and praise them. These things don’t happen automatically though.
I also want to be the best husband that I can be. I want my wife to feel loved, appreciated and valued, but again, these things don’t happen by accident.
Our lives will never be significant unless we are willing to live in a very intentional way. Our goals must be clear, our time managed and our attention focused on the things that truly matter.
*If you are interested in living an Intentional Life, then check out the link below. John Maxwell’s new book, Intentional Living is now available and it comes with a special 30 day Challenge!
Andrew Smith is an Executive Coach and Leadership speaker with the John Maxwell Team, as well as the Director of Rooftop India, an organization that seeks to train leaders internationally, as well as care for orphans through the ministry of the Azlynn Noelle Children’s Home.
Smith served as an Infantry soldier with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division from 2002-2005. Wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2003 by shrapnel from an IED, he is the recipient of the Purple Heart.
Because of his military experience, he now assists as a mentor with Honor & Courage (Operation Ward 57), a non-profit organization that financially assists Wounded Warriors and their families.
He has also owns and operates a small business -Yellow Dawg Striping – in Southwest Virginia.