My last three posts have been centered on the topic – The Three Levels of Achievement.
First, I gave a general introduction into the topic, and then moved to the first stage on the pyramid of achievement which is SURVIVAL. I underscored the fact that everybody starts out from here and the level of success one will attain in life is directly proportional to the quality of resources (time and hard work) buried into it.
The second stage of the achievement pyramid is SUCCESS. This I defined to be the dividend of the foundation laid at the survival stage. Most importantly, I underscored that success is the natural result of some habits which according to Albert E.N. Gray, are called the common denominator success. To him, there are some things that successful people do (set of habits) which are not found in people that are less successful. These things (habits) are not necessarily pleasant or easy but they are the dues success requires of us. In my wordings, I called them the “success habits”. Due to constraints, I only discussed four of such habits.
Today, we are considering the final stage on the pyramid of achievement which is SIGNIFICANCE.
Significance is the hallmark of human existence; it is the point at which one can very well say he has lived a fulfilled life. Significance is not measured in the amount of money one has neither is it measured by the number of investment owned. It is only measured by the amount of impact one has on planet earth, the amount of lives touched positively and the problem of humanity one is ascribed to have solved. It is very possible to be listed as the richest man in the world on the Forbes rating and yet be insignificant, it is also possible not to be listed but yet live a life full of significance.
A quick run through history and our present day society will give us a list of not so wealthy people that lived a life of significance. Making such list however is not the crux of this article.
Significance is not a destination one suddenly arrives at, it is the cumulative of daily living, the summation of contribution towards the betterment of humanity, not across board, but towards solving a specific problem. To be significant, one need to ascertain the problem he has been created to solve, in what aspect he has been called to replenish the earth. There is as a matter of fact, a litmus paper test to ascertain whether one is living a life of significance or not. This may come in form of questions.
In wrapping up this topic, I have been able to match the levels of achievement to another area of life that we never seem to be able to stop talking about – the issues of vision and purpose. These two topics have been co-mixed by many writers and I hope to draw a simple line of distinction which we all can easily relate with.
Vision: This in its simplest form, I define as the very end that one seek, the point at which one can be said to be successful. For some, their vision is defined in the amount of wealth they have – maybe to be the richest man in the world, while others set their vision to becoming the best in their chosen field and yet for some, it is as simple as setting new standards within their local community. The attainment of the vision is equal to being said to have attained success on the pyramid of achievement.
Purpose: This is expressed in the solution one is able to bring to humanity. The purpose of every man is, though unique, yet the same. It is the same in the sense that we are all here to improve the earth and humanity at large, making it a better place. It is unique to the extent that we are given individual fraction to work on. Some fields are yet to be fully developed because those given the assignment to explore them have not done a very good job. Our individual purpose in life is not farfetched as it is embedded in our cravings, in those life issues we are naturally inclined to solve, those fields we unconsciously find ourselves gravitating towards. The attainment of purpose is equal to being said to have attained significance on the pyramid of achievement.
The survival stage is where we determine what our vision is and what our life purpose is, creating a road map towards their attainment.
Conclusively, it is most effective if we are able to marry our vision and purpose together, that way, we will spend the same time achieving both simultaneously. Benjamin Carson, while fulfilling purpose, discovering how best to deal with human brains, attained his vision of becoming a neurosurgeon.
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- 7 Habits of the Richest Man in the World (lifehack.org)