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Moving from success to significance

Happy new year, Chuck! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Any you’d recommend to others? – “Seeking Self-Improvement” in Seattle

With the induction of the new year, many of us are resolving to better our lives in 2012. That’s fantastic! I encourage resolutions, whether you make them now or at any other time of the year.

My New Year’s challenge, however, is that you think in terms of not only success but also significance.

Ken Blanchard, leadership guru and co-author of “The One Minute Manager,” said: “Many people measure their success by wealth, recognition, power and status. There’s nothing wrong with those, but if that’s all you’re focused on, you’re missing the boat. … Using your time and talent to serve others – that’s when truly meaningful success can come your way.”

The best-selling book “Halftime,” by Bob Buford, is a great resource to help change our game plans from success to significance. According to the Halftime organization’s website, “more than 12,000 people turn 50 each day in America, and a Harvard-Met Life study shows that more than half of these individuals want more meaning and significance in the second half.”

You don’t have to wait until you turn 50 or reach your halftime to combine the goals of success and significance. They say you can kill two birds with one stone. That is definitely true if you align your life goals and strategies to be as significant as they are successful.

Buford recommends we answer these questions:

I, too, am doing my best to follow Buford’s advice by specifically shaping the second half of my life for significance.

In the first half of my life, I fought my way (literally) to become a martial arts instructor and six-time undefeated karate world champion, before retiring from fighting in 1974. I then moved over into the world of entertainment, where I starred in 23 motion picture action films. Then, with help from my brother Aaron, I starred in and produced 203 episodes of “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Though I still dabble in movies (including my part in “The Expendables 2,” which comes out in August), I’ve fashioned the second half of my life for more significance by being an author and columnist (to speak into others’ lives) and a philanthropist (to build up others’ lives). I have written seven books and currently am authoring a weekly syndicated culture warrior column, as well as a health and fitness column (“C-Force,” which you’re reading). Regarding philanthropy, my wife, Gena, and I spearhead our nonprofit foundation for children, called KickStart Kids. These avenues of aid allow me to address problems in society and help to repair them by my voice, actions and community service.

Speaking of significance, there is no greater example of it than those who serve in our military forces. As a New Year’s act of elevating their significance, too, on Jan. 7, I’m premiering a military documentary of my multiple trips to Iraq to encourage the troops. You can acquire tickets by visiting the KickStartKids website.

In this next year, Gena and I are committed to making our greatest annual progress in every aspect of our Norris enterprises in order to better others’ lives and our country.

What about you? How can you better focus your life on significance? And align or realign your goals to enhance others’ success and significance, too?

I might not have agreed with all his politics, but I sure agree with John F. Kennedy’s focus for our country when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

It’s still a question worthy of pondering, especially at the beginning of a year.

Happy New Year, friends! Gena and I wish you all the success and significance that you can dream of.

For a more holistic medical approach, Gena and I recommend Sierra Integrative Medical Center, in Reno, Nev. The people there are pioneers in integrative medicine. They blend the best of conventional medicine with the best alternative therapies.