I have spent some time pondering the differences and similarities of connection verses significance. At first look they seem quite similar, but at their core they are diametrically opposed. Why I leaned into this musing was based on my own journey through life and where my struggles were and then working with others in their pursuit of their significance and connection and a pattern of behavior begin to appear. So what is the difference between connection and significance? Connection I believe has more to do with an investment in another, the development of rapport, the desire to bond with another who shares similar values and philosophy. There is a whole-heartiness’ and vulnerability (thanks to Brene Brown) that allows one to “connect” with another that is unique. I remember in the movie “Avatar” where the lead character was learning how to ride the animals of that particular world as a part of the bonding process he had to “connected” with them through a visceral link which allowed them to share thoughts, ideas, feelings. Connection as I said is wholehearted and powerfully vulnerable. Significance on the other hand can be (though not always) more about what “I” need out of the relationship, how does this serve me or make me look. Anthony Robbins once stated that people will often violate their values in order to meet the demands of the need to be “significant”. Below the surface of significance we may see insecurity, stinginess, guarded emotions and selfishness. We may do all the things that look like an attempt to connect and serve, but the fear here is that if I do not stand out in some way shape or form I am not enough I may not be loved or approved of, not being enough. I must admit the pendulum swings both ways for me from time to time and it takes vigilance to be aware of what the motive is, why I react or feel the way I do at times, but with practice I believe we can slow down the ego’s need to be noticed and listen to the hearts desire to connect.
C. David Gilks Your Fellow Traveler
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