On Importance and Significance

“Man is perishable. That may be; but let us perish resisting, and, if nothingness is what awaits us, let us not act in such a way that it would be a just fate."

Étienne Pivert de Senancour, French writer

“In the end, you know, we are very minor blips in a cosmic story. Aspirations for importance or significance are the illusions of the ignorant. All our hopes are minor, except to us; but some things matter because we choose to make them matter. What might make a difference to us, I think, is whether in our tiny roles, in our brief time, we inhabit life gently and add more beauty than ugliness."

James March, versatile Stanford business professor and polymath

Hat tip to Tom Ehrenfeld at 800-CEO-READ for the fantastic HBS article on James March that contains these quotes.


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Published: October 19, 2006Last updated: October 19, 2006

Books by Josh Kaufman