Dr. Oz on Significance



I’m always a fan of understanding how somebody defines a word, or how they make meaning from it.  For example, Covey says that success is when the response equals the challenge.  John Maxwell teaches us that leadership is influence.  This helps me gain perspective, or find a new way at looking at an old word, concept, or idea.

I was reading Success magazine, featuring Dr. Oz on Steps to Living Large and Living Longer.  Dr. Oz had this to say on “significance”:

“’Significance means service’, he says, ‘doing things that impact people, hopefully in a beneficial way.  It’s not just going out there and bragging about a certain thing you’ve done, but showing people how they can apply it to their lives and improve something.  That to me is what significance is all about.’”

My take away is, significance is service.  I like the simplicity of that.

Photo by marcalandavis.


  1. @ Alik — It really is insightful seeing how folks make meaning. Whether it’s old wine in a new bottle, or an old song sung new, it sparks the mind.

  2. Hey JD,
    I have to agree with Dr Oz’s definition of success. Significance means having a positive impact on people’s lives by showing them the way.

    I have never watched the Dr Oz show but I need to some day.

  3. Success is when the response equals the challenge.~ Covey, Truly i’m inspired to this line. Thx JD MEIER

  4. @ Justin — It’s interesting how “significance” can take on new significance, all based on how we make our own meaning.

    @ Rich — It does put success in perspective, and it’s the same way I think about “effective.”

  5. So true. There is just a magical feeling that comes from doing good. This past weekend I was part of a group of volunteers that cooked breakfast at a homeless shelter where I live. Cooking for 85 isn’t easy, but we got through it even if we were unexpected somehow. The bragging doesn’t really move me much, it is just this internal smile that I have from knowing what I did.


  6. JD, I really like this too. After just completing a memoir on the search for meaning and purpose in my life and career, I really much of my quest had been about finding a sense of significance. I want to provide a service… give of myself… in a way that makes a difference. When you do that, it doesn’t feel so much like work. It feels like a calling.

  7. @ Angie — “Calling” is the perfect label. It’s a challenge and a chance to step up to the plate and give our best where we have our best to give.

  8. Hi JD .. we seem to be realising that helping others at all levels is what’s important in life … at whatever degree of success we’ve achieved …. giving is so much better than receiving …. sharing with others without criticising beforehand or afterwards – accepting and offering .. so important. The other person is the important one. Thanks – Hilary

  9. @ Hilary — It’s an interesting idea on multiple levels. On one hand, it’s a reflective thing. On the other hand, it’s like a fractal thing.

    Sometimes we’re in a better position to help others, when we can help ourselves first (the saying, “Put your own oxygen mask on first.”). Other times, we are in a better position to help ourselves, when we help others first. It grows us.

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