Seeking Significance


Sometimes a fear comes over me that I’m not at all significant. I pass people on the streets and I blend in – but I don’t feel like I should. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way, I simply hope that fate – or destiny, whichever it may be – has A Big Plan in store for me. I want to create history, help people, change the world. In reality, I am the only one who can shape my path. What I need – what I’m looking for – is a means of doing this. And what for? For meaning, I suppose. To validate my existence.

Not many women before me have had opportunities to rise up in the world.

I am definitely not blind to my own faults. I am fully aware that I have many shortcomings that not only hold me back from achieving what I want, but also obstruct my ability to be kind to others. But I want to grow more, I want to experience more, I want to absorb more and learn more in order to give myself to the world. You hear of people who are ‘born’ to become someone. A person who has prophets reciting their destinies. A person whose achievements make me question: how can I do what they did? How can I be a pioneer for change, an instrumental part in history – or at least play a role? A paralyzing fear comes over from time to time as I see these people make change while I reflect on the ‘safe’ life choices I have made, and scorn the idea of playing spectator when I could play a defining role.

It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be – Paul Arden.

You may think, on account of all this ‘seeking significance’ business, that I may be a little too ambitious, or self-indulgent, or even pursuing fulfilment erroneously. Why don’t I relax and get on with life and see what happens? Yes, yes, I hear your point. But I’d be far better off searching for meaning than waiting for it. It’s easy to become a pessimist or a misanthrope when you feel that life hasn’t dished you out its equal share in good fortune, and I don’t want to turn out that way. So I need to seek out fortune myself.

A single thread in a tapestry, though its color brightly shines, can never see its purpose in the pattern of the grand design

It’s frustrating when you know you have the ability to do something, but you can’t see a means of achieving it. Perhaps our lives really are shaped by teamwork, collaboration, working together. Maybe your worth can only be seen from afar – not by how much you achieve or how much you own.

What does significance and purpose mean to you? How do you know if or when you’ve achieved it? Can you seek it alone?


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