Spiritual Growth and transformation means that we strive for new life that includes what I call “Significance”, rather than simply being satisfied with what the world calls success
What I mean by Significance as I use it here includes—
- Something that has personal meaning.
- Something important.
- Having or likely to have influence or effect in the world.
- Probably caused by something other than pure chance.
By contrast, success is—
- A favorable termination of a venture.
- Specifically the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.
A part of living in this new forum of Significance means answering the call to better express the uniqueness that God has invested in you. My call to Significance brings together all my gifts – the sum total of my spiritual strengths – into unification and action.
As I accept the new course of life and soul that’s uniquely mine, I leave behind whatever passivity of soul that may have previously hampered me; it is now loosed from me. Signs of lifelessness fade as a new contemplative action draws me forward to God. I’m called to stretch beyond and away from my compulsions of desire and shadows of sloth that may have previously blocked my search. I long for the wholeness of me. Now I long for the key that will unlock Significance in me.
On my journey, I encounter a paradox: it’s only when I can stand firm in my center of eternal security, that I can venture out into the sacred mystery of this new life and escape the confines of my former world that have hamstrung me far too long.
In earlier times I tasted the sweetness of success, but even then I found it to be so fleeting and flimsy. Not an hour after the first book I ever wrote arrived on my doorstep (in 1987) did the sweetness of any sense of personal success evaporate. Immediately I found myself driven to begin drafting my second book. My success had grown stale so very quickly; it was gone in an instant. In its place emerged an internal urge to produce even more. Something prevented me from seeing the success of this first book as significant in and of itself. My ego was satisfied only momentarily, long enough only for me to taste the briefest satisfaction before it roused in me a new restlessness. It grabbed my nose, as it were, and turned my head toward the glitter of yet more success, yet another book project, and away from the significance of the God-moment.
Since that time I have invested deeply in my own self-awareness and understanding, and I can now say with confidence that my primary aspiration toward Significance is clear: helping others discover their true core, and coaching them in ways so they can translate this true inner reality into a satisfying new life I simply call “Significance.”
I think my secondary aspiration toward Significance is to always be on a re-learning, expanding, illuminating, and invigorating personal growth path. I hope everyone shares this aspiration with me. I think that Significance-seekers can/must subscribe to the value of lifelong learning to remain fresh and flexible, clear and connected, committed and mentally concise, as well as centered and emotionally calibrated. This aspiration is a cornerstone principle of the Significance- seeking person.
I pray to be free from outmoded thinking, stale perceptions, antique ideas, and dated decisions. Further, I aspire to a simpler form of living, where my possessions don’t clutter my life or my mind. I want to think clearly; I want to keep my mind open; I don’t want to become a consummate critic or fraudulent faultfinder. Here are more of my aspirations:
- See good in everything.
- Give up the need to be right all the time.
- Recognize my mistakes as learning – indeed, everything is learning.
- Live in the “now.”
- Find peace.
- Remain determined, but not deaf.
- Think the best of others.
- Accept my own power and my own frailty.
- Build on empathy.
- Harness my compulsion to “reshape” the truth.
- Recognize my strengths, my shadows, and my compulsions.
If you’re not sure about specific Significance options as you approach your transition point, do not despair. You may find new direction for your Significance search in my book Seeking Significance: How to Discover New Direction and New Life Purpose Beyond Your Life Transition.
You may wish to take a look at my online self-study course Growing from Success to Significance: Constructing a Life of Meaning and Purpose During and After Sickness/Turmoil/Transition
My soul is restless until it rests in Thee.
Richard P. Johnson