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Success and significance offer many of the same benefits but one brings a better nights sleep and a true level of contentment. For well over a decade I have been pouring resources into helping churches, organizations and individuals accomplish significance in my own search for significance. Through these experiences I have learned that success is fleeting—it is always relative and short-term in nature. Significance offers contentment because it can only be accomplished outside of ones self through efforts to improve other peoples lives.
Significance in your own life can take many different shapes and today more men and women are intentionally in exploration mode. Friend and pastor, Rick Warren has sold over 20 million copies of The Purpose Driven Life in the last two years and no signs of slowing sales are on the horizon—people are searching for purpose and purpose leads to significance. In my own book Finishing Well, What People Who REALLY LIVE Do Differently, I interviewed 60 individuals who have realized that the search for significance must trump success. In 95% of the interviews for Finishing Well I noticed one theme woven through, sometimes directly and sometimes subtle. That one connecting cord is confrontation with ones own spirituality. One contributor who always stands out is Peter Drucker—author of 35 books, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, and still a leading voice in the business world—who offers ten principles for finding significance. In each of the ten principles you can hear ideas found in most major religions. In my own life several core ideas parallel ideas found in the Bible. The over-riding assumption in Peter’s ten principles is that we are all created to enjoy success and ultimately significance.
Peter Drucker understands life principles because he understands how individuals are fearfully and wonderfully made with eternity in mind. Jeremiah, a leader in his own time exhorted his countrymen to look toward the future expecting success and significance with these words from his God; I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for (The Message, Navpress). Listen for the spiritually in Drucker’s ten life principles and expect to discover your own success and more importantly your own significance.