A few months ago, I met Megan, a high-achieving corporate leader in her early forties, happily married with two young kids. Despite her stellar success, she felt like she was on an endless treadmill with no clear direction. This is not uncommon among high-achievers like Megan. Throughout her life, she has always known her next goal and pursued it with determination and discipline.
I shared the theory of life stages, Survival, Success, and Significance with her. The Success stage is characterized by material wealth, comfort, and success. Most of us aim to achieve this stage and want to continue this pursuit. However, sometimes we wonder why we don’t feel fulfilled. This lack of fulfillment could lead to the progression into significance, where people seek more meaning and fulfillment beyond outward achievements.
Seeking significance needs pausing and noticing: what gives you intrinsic meaning and joy.
I encouraged Megan to experiment with this in her day-to-day life. She discovered joy in simple moments, like spending agenda-free time with her family or building genuine connections with her team. Initially, she hesitated to acknowledge these experiences as consequential but eventually realized they were peaceful and fulfilling.
The key to finding significance lies in being fully present at a given moment, whether with your family, partner, or colleagues. By deepening these connections, we create a space where possibilities can emerge. I invited Megan to continue being this way for a few weeks and observe the positive shifts in her life.
Sometimes, we mistakenly associate slowing down with becoming stagnant or less ambitious. The truth is, embracing the present moment and nurturing meaningful relationships doesn’t mean abandoning ambition – it is about releasing the hustling mindset. Leo Tolstoy’s depicted this in his classic story, “The Three Questions,” which emphasizes the importance of the present moment, the people we are with, and being of service.
Megan’s journey from success to significance is neither easy nor quick. But as she decided to explore it on a small scale, one day at a time – it helped her continue the practice. So if you are having that internal nudge for more significance, I invite you to try this for a few days:
The most important time is now, the most important person is the one you are with, and the most important thing is serving them. And trust that something beautiful will emerge.
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The featured image is courtesy of Pexel.com