I often ask myself this question. What does it mean to live a life of significance? When I was younger my parents wanted me to be successful. You know, have a good job, drive a nice car, marry the right woman, and have some children. Admittedly I aspired to all of it and indeed I had it all. In the eyes of the world, I was successful. My first job at UTA, one of the world’s largest privately-owned airlines, allowed me to climb the ladder and see the world. Yes, I have traveled the globe twice.
Fast-forward to 2016. My dream of success came to a screeching halt. I sold my beautiful home in Constantia, traded in the fancy car for a Fiat 500, and my family moved to Italy leaving me to pick up the broken pieces of a successful life. My world crumbled and I lost my footing for a while. Instead of caving in to fear and uncertainty I went on a journey of soul searching and discovered so much more.
I learned there is a huge difference between success and significance. Significance means leaving this world a better place than when I found it. Significance means touching and reaching out to those who need comfort, a challenge, and a willingness to dream and to attain their dreams. Significance is humbling myself to say I am an eternal student and I am willing to learn, try new ideas, push the boundaries of my comfort zone. It is teaching me to never take my life for granted nor the lives of those I deeply care about.
The key to being willing to live a meaningful life is to impact the lives of people I meet. Believe me, I’m no guru and I don’t like people to put me on a pedestal. Instead, I choose to remain humble and learn from others as well as share my knowledge and life experience with them.
I do this in the form of soft skills training, leadership management training, being a life transformation strategist, and a family and organizational constellation practitioner. When I stand in front of groups who have come to enrich their work, I lean into their lived experience. I challenge them to see life through a different lens, to stop buying into the status quo. Many leave their encounters with me and change the way they work and how they interact with the world and those they love deeply.
All too often society pushes us towards a successful vocation, but I ask you to think about what you do every single day? Whose lives are you touching? You might have the most humble job in the world, but you make a difference by how you show up each and every day.
Live your life with passion. With success, my motivations may be selfish. With significance, I add value to others. Success only lasts a short while, but significance can last for lifetimes.
How do I seek and desire and have an impact on other people?
It’s a hunger to leave a lasting impression on others and do something that makes a difference in the world.