Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Ponderance: Significance versus Success

"Being significant is more important than being successful."

- Michael Josephson

How true this is. All of the research on brain development, teaching 21st century skills, what high schools and colleges want in their students, what companies are looking for in employees - all of it is pointing to significance.

Significance means of importance or having meaning.
It is important for us to identify significance because significance is what motivates us to do great things - in the classroom and in the workplace.

Siginificance is a hot topic. The point is, significance, or meaning, should be the central goal, not merely success. At Canterbury, we believe the Social Contract is a road map to significance. As students, we want you to use that map to chart your way. Here are three ways to facilitate your journey:

1. Invest: Take advantage of every minute you have in the classroom, with your friends, teachers, parents, grandparents, teammates, siblings, pets. Make sure you are present in the moment and allow those moments to unfold. If you are too eager to get on to the next thing, you may miss the best thing.

2. Care: Once you are in the moment, care about the people who are with you. Make sure they feel respected. The work you put into making someone feel meaningful will come back to you in a number of different ways.

3. Reflect: At some point in your day - when you go to bed, at breakfast, on the bus from a game - take the time to examine how you did that day or the day before. Did you invest and care? Was their a moment where you didn't give maximum effort? Why? Did you take care of every responsibility?

You will probably have had some moments that slipped - we all do. The important thing is that over the longhaul, we are able to answer "yes" to more of these reflection questions than "no." If we can, we are achieving siginificant.

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