November 10, 2021

What Does It Mean?

You’re always looking for meaning. It’s part of how you’re wired. When something good happens, you look for why it happened or how to repeat it. And if something bad (or a lot of bad things happen), your mind looks for the cause. You're always, unconsciously or consciously, drawing connections between what’s happening now to plan for what’s next.

That's amazing.

All humans, no matter our makeup, are designed for stories. Life is a big mess of events that intertwine like homemade spaghetti, but nearly everyone is trying untangle things to make straight(er) lines. In the words of my dear friend Seamus Harte, “Nothing makes sense. We make sense of things. That’s Storytelling.”

How it works?
Every event has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And once an event has taken place, we look for the moral. When we reach that last bit, there’s closure — a sense that things are in their place. Until then, your mind is cataloging every ounce of information and placing it on your vast bookshelf to be recalled and added upon when necessary.

How to make sense?
So all you have to do is take time to take time to look at your messy, saucey mass of stringy stories and examine them. Which, of course, is much easier said than done.

Try starting with today. What is occupying your mind and time? And what emotion is that bringing up for you? Think about sticking points, celebrations, relationships, etc.

Now, pull that thread. When did this specific situation begin? Was it last week? Last month? Last year? When you were a child? Then fill in the gaps. What happened next? And after that? Keep going until you reach the "end" or today.

Finally, as you look at those events, what are you learning? What's the meaning of it to you?

This is not easy work. But it’s important work. And the more of it you do, the more peace you’ll find, and the more energy you’ll gain for the relationships and ideas you’re building today...the new stories you’re writing.

So, what meaning will you find today?

PS: We wrote more about this topic here and lead experiences for teams here.

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