How to Live a Truely Significant Life

A wise man once told me the key to living a significant life is to have as many significant moments as possible.

This made me realize that significance is not some far off esoteric ideal that requires lofty personal accomplishment. Instead, we can live a significant life by looking for significance and finding it in everything we do.

Significance is a moment to moment occurrence, and we have the choice to make moments significant or not.

It is up to us to find value, positivity, and meaning in our day to day life.

Significance is unique and different to all of us; however there are some general ways we can begin to find greater significance.

Here is how you can begin to live a more significant life.

Realize that significance doesn’t mean enjoyment

Living a significant life isn’t necessarily easy. It’s not always about how much fun we have or how much we enjoy what we’re doing, but is instead about how we have expanded and progressed, and what we have gained or learned.

I’m all for enjoying life, though true satisfaction and fulfillment is much deeper than just having enjoyable and pleasant experiences. It is about finding meaning and purpose and using our potential to its fullest.

We don’t have to enjoy every moment of our life, and it doesn’t mean we aren’t making an impact and can’t come away with some true value.

Significance comes from relationships not possessions

Think of the most memorable and valuable experiences of your life.

What was taking place in these moments? Who were you with? Were you with some important and meaningful people?

The most profound and influential experiences of our life often involve others we care about or are close to. This is where we can start building moments of significance, when we are looking beyond ourselves and making life about others.

When you get to the end of your life, it will not be the things you own that matter to you, but it will be the relationships you built along the way and the people you touched emotionally that gives you a sense of significance.

Learn to enrich your life

When you experience something positive for the very first time think about how exciting and thrilling it is. We tell everyone we know about how much fun we had and how we can’t wait to do it again. Whether this has to do with relationships, your career, or a specific experience, over time even the most exciting experience can get old, and the most precious person can get under our skin.

We slowly forget what it was that made the experience or person so cherished in the first place.

We start simply going through the motions and loose the passion that once led to great joy.

Life can start to seem dull and monotonous if we lose sight of the value and importance we used to notice. Learning to enrich life is about reigniting passions and starting to remember what made us so curious, interested, and fascinated from the beginning.

How are you thinking about what you do? How can you bring enrichment to those moments that have lost their luster?

Live from an inspiring vision

Having a vision that drives us and gives us a sense of meaning is paramount for feeling a sense of significance. Without a vision all the ordinary aspects of life become just that. We lose that inner-drive that is sparked from a powerful vision in the forefront of our mind.

Think how much more motivating and passionate life becomes when there is a vision blanketing the mundane tasks of life.

As well, without a vision it becomes nearly impossible to reach our goals and know where we’re going. When we live and make decisions based on a clear vision we are likely to have many more moments of significance.

At the end of the day….

It’s all about what you were able to learn and how you grew as a person. If you have a passionate vision, pursue this vision with true tenacity, and always look for significant moments, what once was boring and meaningless starts to be full of life and exuberance.

Every day there are experiences that can change us for the better, and help us improve as a person. Where can you find significance today?

Photo credit: notsogoodphotography

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  • http://www.poweredbyintuition.com Angela Artemis

    Joe,
    This is a great article! I never thought about it before but, I think you’re right to point out that “significant” doesn’t necessarily mean enjoyment. We hear so much about “life should be fun” and that we should enjoy it but, it really can’t be fun all the time, can it? That’s so unrealistic. I love that you also bring up significance comes from relationships too. That true. How can we look back over lives and find satisfaction unless we formed relationships along the way? Great post. Thank you!

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Angela,

    Thanks for stopping by! As I have started to view significance in this manner it makes the simple moments of life so much more meaningful. I still strive to follow my passions and be as engaged in life as possible, though during those moments of simplicity and duty in which I would usually feel the itch to break away from, I can more easily embrace and find value in.

  • http://the100percentyou.com/ John Sherry

    I think significance is what the person deems it to be Joe. This is why some people don’t get the ‘go-for-your-dreams-and-be-a-somebody ethic prevelant in the personal development movement. They already have their dream and their significant life working in a simple job that engages them, living in a community they enjoy, and with a loving partnership that makes every day on Earth the happiest ever. Significant doesn’t mean successful, it means fulfilling.

  • http://twitter.com/thebridgemaker Alex Blackwell

    Hi Joe,

    Amen to this. I think to live truly significant lives we must be willing to live our passion. This doesn’t mean it will always be fun or easy and it doesn’t mean its what we do to make a living – it just means we understand what our purpose is and we follow it.

    Thank you for the important reminder,

    Alex

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi John,

    Wonder point here. Satisfaction and fulfillment are subjective experiences and there are many people who are satisfied with what they have and the life they lead. For me, I strive to better myself and expand as a person whenever I can, however it’s likely I may not be as satisfied or even with the life I experience. It’s sort of a funny paradox that the more we strive for attainment of some sort or another, the more unsatisfied we usually are. This is where the motivation comes from. I guess there is a healthy balance in the mix to be found. Thanks for sharing!

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Alex,

    Great to hear from you. I agree that a sense of significance comes from knowing our purpose and having meaning. Regardless of where this comes from, we need to have meaning and purpose. It may be relationships, career, hobbies, volunteer work, etc. though we need to feel that our purpose is being utilized. This to me is the difference between success and significance. I can be success by making a ton of money but have not purpose or meaning in what I do.

  • http://www.personalpower4me.wordpress.com David

    Hi Joe,
    This is a significant post. Well done. When we have significant goals with significant meaning this causes a flow on to us and to those with whom we relate. Thank you.
    be good to yourself
    David

  • http://www.2achieveyourgoals.com Dia

    Hi Joe,
     
    Nice post!  Creating a positive difference in someone’s life is very significant.  It is one of the most significant moments in our lives.  We touch other’s lives in a positive way.  Thanks for sharing this post Joe

  • jkallen3

    Awesome post Joe!

    “Significance comes from relationships not possessions”

    This is why I consider myself to be a wealthy man. I may not be financially, but where it counts most…yes I am!

    Thoroughly enjoyed!

  • http://www.psychicjazz.com Kenya

    Life has its cycles…ups and downs. When we find ways to balance ourselves through it…that is when clarity arrives giving us messages on what to let go and what no longer serves us on this journey. Enrichment is key.

  • Joe – Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi David,

    Thanks for sharing your insight! I agree, when we are living from a place of significance this is expereinced and felt in everything we do and everyone we encounter. There are just some people who are very comforting and have positive energy when around them. These people I believe are in touch with there purpose and living from significance.

  • joe – Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Dia,

    Great to hear from you! The most significant moments are certainly those times when we have profound and touching experiences with others. Focusing on significance through relationships is an area that can lead to more enduring and lasting positivity.

  • Joe – Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Kenya,

    Thanks for sharing! I have been working to clue into my life by recognizing these sea changes where what once was fulfilling has started to lose it’s appeal. Enriching our life is something we have control over and it’s a major key to greater satisfaction and happiness. We must incorporate positivity to balance those not so positive times.

  • Joe – Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Jk,

    Glad to hear from you! This is such a dillema for most people. It’s know that money can’t buy happiness but it’s so difficult to push this value below other important aspects of life, like relationships and spirituality. It can be a struggle but when we start to really experience the wealth that comes from loving relationships it doesn’t even compare.

  • http://mindadventure.com/blog rob white

    Indeed agreed, Joe. To leave behind a conversation that continues to live on is to have lived a significant life. We can only do this through being wealthy in harmonious relationships. We can find an infinite source of goodness in enriching thoughts, feelings and action … and the sources to live a significant life are available at every point of our existence.

  • http://www.balancedworklife.com Bryce Christiansen

    Hi Joe,

    Couldn’t agree more about what you said about relationships.  That’s something I’m trying to do better. 

    Working online makes building relationships different than the ones we see face to face.  What a great way to give your life more significance. 

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Rob,

    Hope all is well, thanks for the comment! I agree that significance is available to us at every point of our existence. The catch is that it’s up to us to make the changes in how we think, behave, and live life. Developing more experience for positive emotions and working to build a healthy life and relationships. It takes some effort is no miracle to do so.

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Bryce,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your thoughts! Relationships is certainly a big one. I am also working this myself. Hopefully at some point, we all realize that the profound moments we have with others is where we can really begin to find greater significance from.

  • http://www.possibilityoftoday.com Sibyl

    Awesome post and message Joe. I loved this one. I do think you make such a great point that you have to learn to enrich your life. It may seem that living an enriched life will just happen for you, but that is really not the way it works out. You have to learn to live an enriched life and put it into practice every single day. Great post.

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Sibyl,

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Living an enriched life is something I work at and have learned that it’s highly important to living a good life. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important and how great life can be. We get stuck in a rut and no longer find the joy and passion we used to live with. I find it very empowering to know we can do something about this.

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    Hi Joe,
    It’s so true that not every moment is enjoyable but what we are here to do and contribute does create value for the world that we live in.

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Justin,

    Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, offering value and having a positive impact may not always be enjoyable, though it provides much fulfillment in the end. Significance can offer us its own unique sense of satisfaction.

  • http://www.kaizenvision.com Aileen | Kaizen Vision

    I loved reading this! It is so wonderfully true that we can Learn to enrich our lives – it’s not that some people are lucky enough to live enriched enlivened experiences – everyone can live lives of great significance.  It is also true, like you said, “life can start to seem dull and monotonous if we lose sight of the value and importance we used to notice”  but it’s a Choice!  :)

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Aileen,

    We do have a choice when it comes to engaging in life and taking effort to improve the way our life is going. Enriching our life can be very simple, such as savoring moments we would usually hurry through or finding more things we enjoy doing. I think this is an important active role we all must play to keep our level of inspiration and joy high. Thanks for commenting!

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Aileen,

    We do have a choice when it comes to engaging in life and taking effort to improve the way our life is going. Enriching our life can be very simple, such as savoring moments we would usually hurry through or finding more things we enjoy doing. I think this is an important active role we all must play to keep our level of inspiration and joy high. Thanks for commenting!

  • Debbie Happy Maker

    Hi Joe,  This is good.  We can lose site of what is important and significant. And it is people, not things.  when we go through our memories we will not remember when we go that new car, etc.  But we will know who was with us to share the moment.
    Thank you for sharing and blessing to you,
    Debbie

  • Joe – Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the site. You provide some valuable wisdom about what moments will really be significant in the end. The memories we have and experiences we cherish are priceless compared to any material possession. These are certainly what will stand out as profound and meaningful when we look back over our life. Blessings to you as well Debbie.

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com farouk

    thank you for the post Joe :)
    i believe i am living a Significant life :)

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Farouk,

    Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it! Keep living a life of significance!

  • http://www.meanttobehappy.com Ken Wert

    Great post, Joe!
     
    The way I measure my significance is by the positive influence I am in the lives of people I love. I sometimes stop and ask myself, “Am I mostly a positive or mostly a negative influence in his/her life?” Thankfully, I don’t recall the last time I was mostly a negative influence in anyone’s life. But it is a good way to keep myself in check and aware of how I interact with others.
     
    Keep up the great work here, Joe!
     

  • http://www.meanttobehappy.com Ken Wert

    Wonder why my gravatar doesn’t work on your sight — not that it isn’t a better picture without my mug there, though! :)

  • Tess

    95% of our happiness depends on the state of our relationships. I say that’s pretty significant! I also think it can mean success and fulfillment.

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Ken,

    Everything looks good on my end…. Thanks for stopping by! You have a wonderful point here, and that is a wonderful question to consider. Recognizing we influence others just as much as they influence us provides the opportunity to really consider the type of influence we want to have. I certainly want to add value and positivity to my interactions as well!

  • Joe @ Shakeoffthegrind

    Hi Ken,

    Everything looks good on my end…. Thanks for stopping by! You have a wonderful point here, and that is a wonderful question to consider. Recognizing we influence others just as much as they influence us provides the opportunity to really consider the type of influence we want to have. I certainly want to add value and positivity to my interactions as well!

  • http://www.nursesalarysite.com/how-to-become-a-nurse-info/ becoming a nurse

    I think that optimism runs all other qualities that a person has. If you treat life positive you will succeed everywhere.

  • http://www.seekably.com/ Suraj KV

    Very Nice post!