What Drives You: Significance or Contribution?

ContributionjpgI’m currently reading Tony Robbins’ new book “Money – Master the Game” and he talks about the six drivers we all have as humans: 1) certainty/comfort; 2) variety; 3) significance (importance); 4) love and connection; 5) growth, and 6) contribution (giving to others). He says we get ourselves into trouble when significance becomes our main driver with money – buying things to look and feel important. I believe anytime significance becomes our biggest driver in any aspect of our lives, we are in danger of losing who we are, living a life of emptiness, and jeopardizing our connection to others. This is especially true for people in positions of leadership whether they carry the title of leader, or simply have influence. They could be managers, teachers, pastors, coaches, trainers, doctors, politicians, or even entertainers. People can sense whether our actions are motivated by the need to make a contribution and help others, or the need to feel important and powerful.

Over the past 3 years, I have attended over 25 concerts and shows, most of them being very big name entertainers. I can honestly say that one artist stands out the most by far as being the most fun, entertaining, and full of energy of any I have ever seen. For a while, I couldn’t quite put my finger on why because this artist is not the most talented by any means. Now I understand that it’s because this artist is currently driven more by contribution than significance, which may not have been the case in his early years. If you watch him perform, it is very clear that he is all about giving everything he’s got to the audience to ensure they are thoroughly entertained and have an awesome experience. It’s not about how good he looks or how perfect he sounds. Instead, it’s about being real and connecting with the audience, and the audience can feel it. He also gives a considerable portion of the proceeds from his concerts to charity.

When was the last time you stopped to consider what drives your actions as a leader? Is it to fulfill the need for significance or the need for contribution? If we all valued contribution over significance, I think the world would be a much better place.

Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” – Tony Robbins

 “Life is not accumulation, it is about contribution.” – Dr. Steven R. Covey

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