I have done much reflecting on the meaning of life over the years. And I have come to realize that while success is a step along the upward path of life, it is not the highest peak on the mountain. Beyond the summit of success lies another even higher crest. It is the crowning jewel of the upward climb and provides the greatest source of joy. This is the capstone of significance.
To live a life of significance is to live a life of meaning and purpose. It is to live a life of giving rather than taking. It goes beyond personal achievement to concern about the achievement of others. Einstein said it simply and succinctly when he said, “Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”
You can imagine a life of significance as a life lived in flow, like a vast river, or a reservoir released, flowing outwards from its source. A life of significance energizes the hearts and inspires the minds of all those it touches along the way.
Deep inside of each of us is a desire to make a difference, to have our
lives count for something. This is the desire to live a life of significance. This desire is basic to all of us, for at the very heart of our hearts as human beings, we recognize our intrinsic connectedness. When this is expressed at its most basic level, we want to make a difference in the lives of those
around us. When felt at its most profound level, we experience being part of a greater extended
family, the family of humanity.
As we press forth to achieve success, the more the deepest hidden desire for significance finds its way into our vision just beyond the summit we’ve achieved.