Significant or Meaningful – Defining Achievements

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Would you classify your most important achievements in life as being significant, or meaningful?

Honestly, this isn’t a distinction that had ever crossed my mind prior to previewing Dov Baron’s newest course, All At Once. In one of the modules I experienced, however, Dov asks participants to create a list of significant achievements. This is a starting point – that particular module guides you through the process of defining the purpose of your achievements, which is either significant or meaningful.

As a bit of an “achiever” myself, I was happy to oblige. I cranked out a set of accolades I felt pretty proud of, mostly related to my education and work experiences. As a model student and stellar employee, I felt good about my list of significant achievements!

Next up in the course: considering how much time and energy went into the pursuit of those fetes. Then contrast that against the level of impact they have on my current, day-to-day life.


The reality is, a LOT of time and effort when I was directly pursuing them. However, there is very little current relevance now that they’ve been “achieved”. I have a set of plaques and certificates buried in a box somewhere, I suppose. They’ve mostly just replaced all the childhood trophies and ribbons I ended up discarding as an adult.

Dov was getting at this point: many of our “significant” achievements are meant to gain status, approval from others, or some sort of validation.

They aren’t necessarily things that are aligned with our greatest desires, and they rarely hold long term value that deeply change our lives. What DOES create daily impact?

Meaningful achievements.

As you may guess, this second type of success may not have come with much attention. You’ll likely never even find a place for it on a resume. In terms of emotional impact and life importance, however, they can’t be beat!

Meaningful achievements rank much higher than those things we pursued for their significance.
It’s probably not a groundbreaking discovery that the things most meaningful to you may not be the things others look to when declaring whether you’ve “made it” or truly succeeded. However, the All At Once course led me there in such an organic, authentic matter that the principal truly lodged itself in my brain.

Now I find myself considering new opportunities or pursuits NOT through a lens of how they will look on my resume. Instead. I’m looking now from the perspective of someone who wants to use their finite amount of time, energy, and resources to pursue things that will be meaningful to me, both today and in the future.

When held side-by-side, there doesn’t seem to be much of a question as to whether I’d prefer my primary achievements to be significant or meaningful.
Dov’s latest course, All At Once, is launching in September! You can find more of his books and products online.

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Listen in here:

2. Farnoosh Torabi ‘s SoMoney podcast.
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