The idea behind "success to significance" is good, and it is bad. The good part is simple: people can realize there is more to life than just being successful. We were made for something more.
If, however, we make a pursuit of significance, we fall into an equal and opposite error, for anything that is pursued before God becomes an idol.
Another bad outworking of "success to significance" is that it opens the possibility of dualistic thinking, where these are two different tracks. The net result is fragmentation, and
“Fragmentation decreases our ability to comprehend truth and make sense of life. This is why satan uses compartmentalisation as part of his strategy to “steal, kill and destroy” thereby reducing our ability to experience the God who is One.” - Brett Johnson
Convergence involves integration, and one of the most plain expressions of this is how (for married couples) wives and husbands flow together. Married life can be greatly enhanced, if not simplified, if there is an agreed joint decision-making framework. Failure to agree on this basic life-process can lead to conflict, misunderstanding and divergence.
Practically, each person should map out how they, in their minds, make decisions. Then compare notes, and agree on a shared decision map. Test it out on a small decision or two before graduating to larger decisions.
In 1986, Lyn and I landed in California with two small children, four suitcases, and a few personal belongings. "This will be your home for quite a while," God whispered as the plane was about to land on those fingerling runways that protrude into the San Francisco bay.
This sparked an intense season of seeking God for what we should do with the foreseeable future: Should we stay in the US? What about our community back home? Do I change careers? Will the children be better off in South Africa, or the USA? Why would God want me to lay aside the church I was leading... many questions.
34 years later, one tends to forget the struggles of those decisions. Truth is, it is a myth that life decisions are easy. "Just ask Jesus," sounds right, but also trite.
Be prepared to wrestle with God, get insight from trusted counsel, see through the mist, stub your toes in the dark: it is part of the journey.
My bent is towards strategy, but in uncertain times, this can paralyze people. We think, "Until I know my life calling, I cannot make a decision."
Generally, we come to understand our purpose as we do the next thing, with one hand on our tools, and an ear toward heaven. We talk about the Head, Heart and Hands of a leader: there is a 4th H... Habits! Sometimes our habits lead us into our calling.
In fact, having the Big Picture in the wrong picture frame is stupid.
Dig into your worldview, the set of assumptions you have about how the world works. Get a little insight into your assumptions about life before you try to settle your purpose. In the meantime, do some good for someone else. Obedience opens the intellect.
There is something amazing about entering God's rest. "Strive to enter God's rest... rest from your own work." The chances of cruising your way to Convergence while you sip champagne and binge Netflix... could be zero.
God is a rewarder of those who "diligently seek him." What does this look like? We can, for one, try to understand his ways, the patterns that seem to mark the lives of leaders who did well. In Convergence, we observe The 7 Seasons, for example, and how each of our lives' goes through such seasons. We try to understand what is normal--tough time, trials, difficulties--so that we don't get discouraged.
There are lots of distractions that will keep your mind occupied with everything in general. Technology magnets will suck your focus away from what is best. We can get so preoccupied with WhatsApp, Instagram, Tik Tok, viral videos and trending trash. It is hard to stay focused on things that matter. Let's make choices that draw us towards Convergence.
The paper, published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, said: "As with internet addiction, the concepts of selfitis and selfie addiction started as a hoax, but recent research including the present paper has begun to empirically validate its existence.”
But it won't kill me... don't count on it. According to a 2018 BBC article, 259 people reported dead seeking the perfect picture. The quest for extreme selfies killed 259 people between 2011 and 2017, a 2018 global study has revealed.
Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine recommend that 'no selfie zones' should be introduced at dangerous spots...
Let's be honest, the carefully curated Instagram photos have nothing to do with what someone really looks like, let alone who they are. This notion of carefully managing your social media image is partly a consequence of faulty thinking.
Jesus says, "Lose your life and you find it." There were a bunch of people who rejected Jesus back in the day because they valued their image and reputation above truth.
There are some things we must cultivate: truth, humility and justice, for example. There are things we must grow more than our following: love, joy, peace, patience kindness, self-control etc. Scripture says that promotion does not come from the North or the South, the East or the West, but promotion comes from the Lord. Get a new Brand Manager, and rather focus on your character, competence, calling, community... the important things.
I was reading this verse the other day, and it led me to wonder: has the world of social media made us more sensitized to "image" than we should be, and more susceptible to replacing true meaning in life for the "image of man"?
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. Romans 1:22,23
The image of man I am thinking of is not the carved statue at the side of the Indian or African road, but the "influencers" we follow on social media, the YouTube celebrities we seek to emulate. It is the self-help philosophers whose over-toasted "truths" we swallow like marshmallows at a campfire (and that have about the same nutritional content.)
I love the fact that young people want to change the world. (This has been the case for generations; Millennials actually believe they can do it, however. This is true, thanks in part, to the tools that previous generations built for them... like the internet, web browsers and mobile devices. But I digress.) The downside of this world-changing-enthusiasm is that it often comes mixed with a tolerance, inclusion and muddiness around truth that fosters Myth#2:
As long as I have a good cause, I’m good
This can lead us to be crystal clear on how to save the whales, the planet, the spotted owl... but clueless when it comes to "saving our souls." We should save the whatever, but we should 100% make sure we are saved as well.
Convergence is that season or place in life where we cry out, "This is who I am; this is why I am made; this is what my life is for." It is when The 4-Cs overlap significantly: Career, Calling, Creativity and Community. I cover this in my book which is called Convergence.
I recently spoke on 12 Myths that will prevent us coming to Convergence; I have not done this before. The first myth I dealt with was the notion that we can find a great and meaningful purpose to life outside of God's will. Actually, this is true to a certain extent. Elon Musk may build a colony in space, and Steve Jobs certainly did create products that "bless" people daily. We can accomplish great things, but they will not necessarily lead to true Convergence when we live by the principles of God, but without the power and presence of God.
When we get got out of the middle, we don't: we actually replace him with another God.