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Why Personal Significance Beyond Corporate Life?

'Retirement is a one-way trip to insignificance'

Mason Cooley, American aphorist and writer

Our research demonstrates quite simply, that there is an exigent need, for some people, for on-going status and recognition in their lives. 

High achievers, who have, for example, ascended the corporate ladder or become successful in their chosen field, have been driven to do so by a number of deep psychological motivators.

Individuals who achieve greatness through their work are driven predominantly by the need for, what we refer to as, ‘Significance’, i.e. to be someone, to be important, to have status, standing and position, and to get the recognition they require. They are also, in so many cases, driven by a need to ‘Contribute’. They are motivated to make a difference, to give something back, perhaps to leave a legacy of value.

We also know that the need for Significance and the need for Contribution are so often inextricably linked – I do something of value for society, I tick my Contribution box. If I get recognition for my actions, I tick my Significance box.

For many, these needs remain throughout life. Therefore there is a constant requirement to satisfy them.

In later life?

When a major change in the work situation, such as ‘retirement’, career transition or redundancy, is imminent, the big question is, ‘What next?’ and, crucially, ‘How am I going to maintain my level of importance and value?’ Interestingly, when one is getting closer to the major change, the need becomes even stronger. This, we believe, is driven by an overwhelming fear of loss.

Many people, particularly those who have worked hard for and become accustomed to high levels of ‘personal significance’ in the corporate world, ‘set the cue ball up for the next shot’ well before they step away.

Some will become volunteers in the charitable sector as trustees, for example. Some will gravitate towards local politics. Some will start their own businesses.

What will you do?

Perhaps, you have already decided. Perhaps you are already living your next chapter. Is it sufficient? Is it fulfilling enough? Is it giving you all the personal significance you desire? Is it enabling you to make the contribution you need to make?

If it is, you’ll feel a great sense of achievement

Doubtless, you’ve read the articles on the Home Page.

You see, if you still have these needs and therefore the need to satisfy them, you will feel it when you do. It’s a deep, intensely pleasurable experience.  But not everyone does. You will also feel it if you don’t.

This is the reason why Art of Reinvention has created the answer.

In order to live a fulfilling, meaningful and authentic next chapter you need to understand what’s going on and what options are open to you. We can help.


Is this for you? Sign up for a complimentary 45 minute Strategy Session to find out


Fact 1

Fear of losing status and recognition is a major issue for many people

Fact 2

Many successful people continually need to be important and to make a contribution

Fact 3

People report that life can feel meaningless and unfulfilling without a purpose

Fact 4

There may be a direct correlation between retirement and relationship problems

Fact 5

Some people know what they want their next chapter to be like and create it