The author on a spring afternoon in Seattle
Happiness

What life stage are you in – Survival, Success or Significance?

Watching Joe Biden’s inauguration, I have been feeling highly spirited all day today. This topic I found from Pastor Rick Warren at the Oprah show, seemed appropriate for this week’s post. He said, “Everyone lives at one of three levels in life: Survival, Success, and Significance.” 

Survival– You live from week to week, looking forward to the weekends, vacations, and finally the retirement. In my words, this is life in “Autopilot mode.”

Success – Your life is pretty full with eating out, driving a nice car, looking good, feeling good, having goods. After being at this level for a while as people grow, they start thinking – If I am so successful, why I don’t feel satisfied!

Significance– You know your life matters. You know why you are alive, and you have a purpose. You live the life of “fun and purpose.”

As a coach, I believe everyone is capable of living a life of significance. It is not just a matter of spiritual growth though. In my other post, What intrinsically motivates us, I shared research that money or job title doesn’t go too far.  My ideal clients are mostly those in the “Success” level, but they long for more significance. Even though on the surface, they come to me for the next promotion, a career move, or higher team performance, the final results often sound something like this, “I got those results but more important is, I am much happier now .” As Maslow’s pyramid describes, after our basic needs and esteem needs are met, the next level of happiness is not tied to a dollar amount; we go for the higher-level needs. Those transitioning from success to significance are the ones who get the most out of the generative coaching. It is not easy or always fun; it takes courage and conviction – but that’s what brings meaning for us.

Poet laureate, Amanda Gorman’s words from today’s inauguration ceremony summed it up:

If only we’re brave enough to see it,
If only we’re brave enough to be it.


How are you preparing for 2021 and beyond? Check out these coaching offersAct soon!

Photo: Me on a bright Spring day in Seattle.