The importance of significance

Published 9:18 pm Thursday, March 26, 2015

By Domenick Epps

In studying successful people, I find most to be very modest. In their speeches they esteem others, especially those who have contributed to their level of success more than themselves.

They are humble, with very few words. They are philanthropists and members of charitable foundations, and they are known more for what they have deposited in the lives of others than for what they have.

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At an entrepreneurial event I recently attended, the speaker shared that one should not strive to be successful, but that one should strive to be significant. When one is significant, one will eventually become successful.

A personal evaluation of “what I have done for others” and not “what others have done for me” is recommended. At the end of one’s life, it’s not about how much money one has in the bank or how many luxurious items one might have acquired. What folks will be remembered for is what they have gracefully deposited into the lives of others.

Who have I discipled? Who was I willing to teach what I know, instead of keeping it to myself? Who have I made time for?

It was Elijah who poured into Elisha, Jesus who poured into Peter and Andrew Carnegie who poured into the young Napoleon Hill. So who are you pouring into?

You can visit the library and find hundreds of books on how to be successful in various fields. But how many will you find on “Why to Be Significant”? Success is the goal in our self-centered society, but significance is more important.

We have created a generation more concerned about being successful than being significant. Is it only about you? Is it about what you can get, instead of what you are willing to give?

Many individuals have played a significant role in my life. Coaches, teachers, Sunday school teachers, neighbors, pastors, co-workers and community leaders all have played a significant role in my life.

They might not be wealthy like Warren Buffet, but what they deposited in me is more valuable than what any amount of money could buy. They were willing to spend time with a Saratoga kid and impart in me that which I needed to live, that which I needed to rise above mediocrity and that which I needed in turn to be significant.

Be significant. That is true success.

Domenick Epps is a Suffolk resident, real estate agent and youth pastor. Email him at