The search for significance

This past weekend I facilitated the board retreat for a non-profit.  Most of the learning was focused on the container of this thing called a “Board of Directors.”  They came up with concepts of what their group represented and helped each other identify what was important about each other.

It was clear that the group was committed to the mission and values of the organization. This experience helped them realign with the significance of their roles and the significance of the work of their organization.

Auntie Google says significance is “the quality of being worthy of attention.”  As humans, we need to contribute our talents, and we need to feel significant.

What makes it significant? 

Significance, in my mind, is a larger reflection of our impact. As creators, we want our work to matter to those we serve.  We want to have an impact on the people we love. and we want that impact to be significant.

Our impact is often invisible to us.  It’s much easier to see it in someone else.

For example, if you’ve ever been in a group of friends, and one of them is feeling off-kilter, maybe a little grumpy or sensitive, you can feel it, right?  And there are some folks you just want to be around because they can create fun out of thin air. 

Those friends impact you when you are in their presence.  And it works both ways; you have impact on them as well.  

The energy we carry inside radiates outward and impacts those around us through our words and actions. Our feelings are contagious.

Our impact springs from our inner presence. 

Our impact is like the glow of a campfire.  A small fire has very little fuel, or perhaps the wood is damp from unshed tears and not accepting of heat.  But a nice cooking fire has a good supply of dry wood that is replenished as needed, and plenty of oxygen to aid the ignition. 

We feel the heat from this fire, and on a cold night, it comforts us. 

We are attracted to those who have a peaceful interior. They are the ones who have wrestled with their imperfection and made friends with it.  They are the ones who are familiar with the fire within.

If you want to have a welcome impact, warm your hands and your heart by your inner fire.  Learn to be willing to pay attention to the fuel of the hard questions that spring up inside us. Supply oxygen through focusing on the breath and tend that flame diligently and consistently.

That inner flame is our presence and it radiates outwardly spreading our impact.  Focus on the important questions, like How do I manifest love? Or How can I experience more joy? 

If our impact is love, joy, and acceptance, then the significance will take care of itself.


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