Ep. 06 – ‘Significance’ – Heavy Breathing Just Before Midnight with Sandi Maki

I wish for you that you would know that you are significant.

Heavy Breathing Just Before Midnight Podcast Episode 5: Significance

Here’s a bit of Happiness for your Brand New Day (which happens just after midnight!)


Hi, Sandi Maki here with a quick conversations about significance because it is on my mind today. The one thing that I do not really want to do with this series is become predictable or create expectation, mostly in myself, that I have to find something to talk about today. I like the idea of them being rambling and whimsical and fun and posting whenever inspiration strikes; that being said, I still feel compelled to try to come up with something every day, so I don’t know, we will see how it goes, I will surprise you. Maybe some days there will not be a post, and maybe some days there will.

Today, I have been reflecting on significance. I was reading an article in Oprah Magazine about Rosie O’Donnell, which reminded me of just some thoughts I guess that float around in my own head from time to time and I thought maybe I would go ahead and explore those with you. There is an interesting observation that I have been making in my own life as I become maybe a little bit more significant in circles with people that I have come to know. Many of you may know of my experiences with the Insights group which was founded in 2008 to be a networking community, supporting creativity, mastermind experience that my business partner and I dreamed up. That was the start of a lot of really cool things in my life. It started a deeper understanding of masterminding, understanding human behavior, and understanding significance a little bit more, the ability that any one person has to make an extreme impact on the world started to become even clearer to me and I started to pay attention to it. You know we are all significant every day in our lives with the people that we come into contact with. I think that we do not realize the significance often until there has been a time lapse in between whatever the event or the relationship was, and then we start to realize just how significant that was. So I was reading this article, and I do not think that I ever made the connection in my head before. The article said that Rosie O’Donnell when she started her show on NBC that became extremely popular, she was 34 years old and a single mom who had just adopted her first son. She was on the air for 6 years and she had made the decision that she only wanted to be on for 5 years because when her son was going to start school, she wanted to have time to do things with him. I do not think that I ever made the connection while she was on the air with how old she was, which is just, you know, #1. highly irrelevant, and #2. a little bit hard to wrap my head around. Somehow with our social programming, and I know at least with mine, even though I know that anything is possible, I still have those tapes that run in my head that say, “Well, you have to be a certain age before you can achieve this level of significance or you have to have put in this time and effort before all of these things can happen for you.” This might sound a little bit cliché, but the older I get, the more I realize that that is just not relevant, so what an interesting thing.

The closer that I become in some of my circles that I am a member of, the closer that I become to people that I would perceive as having some level of acclaim, fame, fortune, some kind of an elevated social status maybe in some way, the closer I come to them, the more I realize that everybody is the same. Everybody has the same life, we just perceive that certain people have a different life, and they do. There are certain things as a celebrity, I understand that you are more well-known and you have to watch, you know, where you go and what you say depending on who is paying attention and who is listening, but everybody are still just people. They are still people with families, children, soccer games, and the same struggles and concerns that anyone else might have. In the article in Oprah magazine where Oprah was talking with Rosie about what is coming up for her, there was a really interesting observation that was made by Rosie and part of it was that she did not realize for a while that she was in the club and that club would be, I guess, people of a certain level of acclaim or a certain level of notoriety, and you know what determines who is in that club, well I think that it is each of our perceptions of who would be in that club, so it took a while for her to realize that she was in the club, and one of the things that she also shared was everybody that she knows that is in the club feels like they are not a member, even some of the biggest stars that we could name. That to me was really interesting and that highlighted just another realization about how at the end of the day we are all just people, and every person no matter what may be perceived on the outside, deep down inside is just like everybody else trying to figure it out just like everybody else, and I think that some people are just better able to push past that, push past the potential mental hang-ups and roadblocks that might be in their own way and to do what they do with a smile on their face, and yet hiding I think because there is some perceived value on putting that brave face on or that strong face instead of letting people see the vulnerable maybe authentic or transparent side. I think a lot of people try to hide that. From my own experiences, I can tell you when dealing with the Insights group and masterminding and networking and becoming a little bit of a person that people started to look to, there is a certain amount of pressure to be on all the time, and by be on it means that no matter what’s going on in your own life or whatever’s going on in my life, I felt like I needed to be there for other people and supportive and not let on that maybe I was not having that great of a day. I know that during that time, there were a few people in my life that definitely made a point of checking in on me to see how I was doing versus checking in on the person that they saw that was coming to the meeting, and I had several wonderful conversations and wonderful relationships around the fact that there were people who even knowing what the role was invited me to be authentic and be a little bit vulnerable around then, which really helped me to maintain some perspective around certain things, and on the same token, I offered that to other people and it is a little bit of a delicate conversation to bring up. I think a lot of the time, it started with the acknowledgement of I know that people look to you and I know that there is a certain amount of importance that you place and that I place on being on and being able to handle people’s questions and help be encouraging and not let people see that things might be different, but just to let you know that in this space and with me feel free to be vulnerable, and if there is anything that I can help with or help you work through so that you can continue to be that resource for so many people, please share and let’s lean on each other in this.

I think when we acknowledge that piece maybe that we could use in our own lives, at least when I acknowledged for me that I did need an outlet where I could be a little bit more authentic, where I felt like I could let my guard down, I think that it was really important, and in reading this article that Oprah and Rosie were sharing just about stardom, you know, again, even highly, highly successful people still don’t necessarily feel like they belong to the club, so that raises the question of who decides who is in the club and where does that really start, and I believe that the perception of being in the club or not in the club comes from each and every one of us in our perspectives. I know there is a certain element of the news media, maybe the paparazzi, that try to artificially create the sense of the club, but deep down it starts with what we are all thinking and what we are all feeling about it.

So let’s wrap this up with a little of a thought about significance, because I had a recent revelation about significance and have tried to come to terms with it in my own mind. I was driving in the mountains of Colorado. I had gone out there for a summit meeting, a business, mastermind, motivational weekend with a lot of business owners and a lot of fabulous people from around the country, and I do these several times a year, so this particular one was in Colorado, so at the time, we were in that little rental car that I guess was having some high altitude problems because it was chugging up the side of the mountain. I guess that is the best way to explain it. Anyways, while on this drive, we were out to do a little bit of sight seeing and having a conversation about how people realize when they are significant, or if you ever really know or assimilate that with a part of you. The reason that I was contemplating the question was because I was sitting in meetings with a group of people that I can only explain as phenomenal people who started with nothing and ended up having large companies, employing hundreds of people, and having what appears on the outside as reached a certain amount of success and significance. This group of people come together to have really authentic experiences with each other and share thoughts and insights and motivations. What I really appreciate about the group is that every body that shows up to find out what they can do to help everybody else who came. They show up to lend a little bit of themselves in hoping that relationships can be created and that inspiration that can be taken, motivation, and it is a chance for people to recharge their batteries a little bit and it is also a place for people to explore with a supportive group what more is possible. So I am sitting in the room with all of these people time and time again, and I have that little voice in my head that continues to say: Do you really deserve to be sitting at this table? Do you really think that you are this significant, which is what I think that Rosie might have alluded to in saying that even people who are a part of the club, they still don’t really know that they are a part of the club, and I can only imagine that that same thing is happening for a lot of the people that are in the room. So on the car ride while chugging up the mountain, I was having this discussion about how does someone know when they are significant, and in that moment I remember clearly gazing out the window and pondering my life and wondering when will I realize that I am significant, and I started to think about the hundreds and thousands of people that I have met through my experiences when people ramped up with the Insights group. I have met people locally, I have met around the country, I have met people internationally, and there are a lot of people who have listened to my message, and while all of these people have been listening to my message, I have probably had this little voice in my head saying, you know, why are you paying attention to me? I don’t know that I really have this much to share. But if people keep showing up and people keep listening, then I will keep sharing even though I don’t really know why they are showing up, I can only hope that they are gaining something out of it, and I think in that moment I had a realization that I was more significant than I had given myself credit for, and even though I could rationalize that there is some amount of significance, I still have that little voice saying yeah, but that really can’t be the case.

So then I was looking at the other people that were sitting in the room and pondered that significance, and I can completely justify for everybody else no matter what position they were in or what point in their life that they were in, I could completely justify for everybody else in the room their significance and their relevance, and I could try to do that for myself and then I would still have those doubts. I think that it is so much easier for us to give that credibility and give that significance to other people. I know it is for me, and I think that part of the secret of moving to the next level in the video game, if there is one, is when you get to look around you and realize your significance and when you can sit with that and accept it and understand that it is a truth and it is a reality, I think that is when you kind of graduate to that next level of awareness where a lot more becomes possible.

I think a lot of people accomplish a lot of really fantastic and amazing things without realizing that part is significant, and I think if we allowed ourselves and if I allow myself to realize that there is a greater level that can be achieved when you allow yourself to realize your own magnificence and your own significance, I think that opens up the world to a whole lot more possibilities. I would suggest that if you are on any kind of a journey, and I can only imagine that you are, especially if you are listening to some of these random musings that are coming out, I would imagine that you are on a little bit of a journey, surround yourself with people that are also on their journeys. Surround yourself with people that you find significant and that also find you significant, and in every instance where there are people that you are introduced to that you can see a glimmer of significance whether they can see it or not, do your absolute best to make sure that they know that they are significant and help to open that window, help to encourage that hidden dream or hidden desire that they could begin to share with the world a little bit more because you are significant and they are significant, and with human nature being what it is, we could all use that little push from time to time.

So my wish for you is that you realize your significance and your brilliance, and I will do my best to continue to recognize that for myself, so until next time, know that you are significant and that the world is a better place because you are sharing a bit of yourself with it.