Why do they matter?
Each one of these, and countless examples more, all push a certain button in the human psyche. Significance. Each one of these things is another way to show that we matter.
Social significance, family significance, peer significance… each one of them holds a certain amount of weight for each of us and there is nothing wrong with any of it. We only need to be aware that it exists. We want to matter.
The question we must answer is why. Why do we want to gain our respective significance?
History is filled with stories, fables, and myths of people wanting to have significance. The boy who cried wolf, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler… why do you want to be significant?
We are all made with the ingredients of significance. We all have the stuff to matter. If we only do what we are capable of, we would astound the world. But that isn’t why most people pursue significance. By and large, people want significance in moderation.
“I don’t want to be at the bottom of the class so I can avoid teasing and I don’t want to be at the top of the class so I don’t risk being made fun of.”
The prayer might as well be, “God, please make me significant enough to blend in, but not so significant that people expect too much.”
For me, it was an unconscious prayer for decades. I was tired of being the poor kid, the uncoordinated kid, or the prude. On the other side, I didn’t want to be the one on the top where others might take shots at me. I was so afraid of what I might be (good or bad) that I only wanted the safety of the middle. Guess what I got…
For a little while I had the middle. It was the most unremarkable, empty place in the world. I knew I had more. My potential stared me in the face daily. I had to consciously look away in order to function. Complete and total denial equals misery.
Only in the rarified air of your possibility does real life exist. Regardless of how good you are compared to anyone else, the real juice is available at the edge of what YOU are capable. Real significance is attained when you stretch for what is inside of you. Not by comparison to what is available outside of you in the world.
Striving for more significance is not wrong. It is the spice of life. But why do you want more? Is it to push the edge of what you were made for, or is it to have just enough to blend in?
Knowing why you want such things is the basis of a strong and directed mindset. Please leave your comments on this post as to what significance means to you and why you do or don’t want more. I want to hear from you.
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PJ McClure helps aspiring entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar business owners destroy roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. He is an award-winning speaker and the best-selling author of Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset and the upcoming Unlock Your Life: How to go beyond Time-Management to the Life of Your Dreams. You can download a copy of Flip the SWITCH for Free by clicking here.