The more we immerse ourselves in the process of equipping the youth of our country, the more we realise that there are different types of success and that they are not all equal partners in the project of nation building.
Success can be achieved with a singular focus on self, or with a focus on others. At the Foundation we had captured this focus on others by seeking out people with a spirit of selflessness- a clear counter weight to the dangers of selfish success. However, there is another type of success that, while still maintaining the focus on others, is more enduring than the often transient nature of selflessness. This success we have come to understand as the ‘spirit of significance’. Our working definition of this term is: “A weight of personality that comes from living a life personified by passion and integrity. A recognition that ultimate personal satisfaction comes from empowering oneself in order that one may serve others.”
A clear understanding of this type of success was given by Victor Frankl in his enduring book, “Man’s search for Meaning”, where he states: “For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended consequence of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” It is that element of transcendence that points to a key characteristic of significance.
We live in significant times, and many would argue, in a significant location. It is our hope that both the Allan Gray Fellows and Scholars and the Foundation itself will be animated by aspirations of significance. In doing so, we will be joining many others in working towards leaving a legacy worthy of our moment in history.
And so as we read about the activities and achievements of our Scholars, Fellows and Alumni, it is our hope that they reflect the reality of a group of young individuals, who are growing more committed, year after the year, to maximising their impact by moving beyond success to significance.