You, The Meaning Creator
I. We. You. Me. He. She. It. They.
Each one of us has flaws.
We encounter issues related to ego, trust, integrity, expectations-mismatch and more.
Issues are going to happen. Issues are going to make us feel bad. Or worse.
Our life slides by, one issue at a time.
We wait for a perfect day of life where we hope to have no issues whatsoever.
The bad news is that It is not going to happen.
But the good news is that it does not matter!
Because it is up to us how we deal with the issues.
Unlike the very few, most of us, feel overwhelmed by the issues more often than we should.
The roots of this behavior are in the foundational unclarity that is planted by our typical social systems.
To understand the unclarity, let us touch upon the subject of clarity.
Here is the dictionary definition of the word ‘clarity’: “Clarity is the quality of being easy to see or hear; sharpness of image or sound.”
Now that we understand what clarity is, the question comes: what specific clarity will help us better our behavior (and life)?
The clarity of meaning.
The people behave (or not) in a certain way. And we derive one or the other kind of meaning out of the people’s behavior (or non-behavior).
The funny thing is that once we have derived the meaning, we believe it is to be the truth which may or may not be the case in reality.
And we feel good or bad based on our perception of the truth.
When I did my Landmark Forum a decade ago, I was exposed to this concept: “Life is empty and meaningless, and empty and meaningless is also empty and meaningless!”
This thought gave me an unprecedented clarity to look at my behaviors — see below:
- The meaning is not in the things or other people’s behaviors, it is in how we perceive them.
- The meaning is based on past references or future aspirations, when we live in the present moment by giving our 100%, the concept of meaning starts to matter less (Example: The person who is mindfully meditating with 100% involvement does not care if he is a Ph.D. in Computer Science or has never gone to the school!)
- The meaning comes based on either fear or possibility. Past or the future. And we are at the source of whatever meaning we derive. So we are the creator of the meaning, no one else!
The creator has the power to assign a different meaning to the things that happen (or do not happen).
This is a powerful discovery. See how this can impact the quality of life in below example:
Example A: Career Issue
Situation: You are fired from a job because of non-performance
Default meaning: My employers suck
Possible meaning as a Meaning Creator: My work outcomes and expectations did not match. Either I need to improve on X, Y, and Z skills or I need to find a job where my P, Q, and Y skills are appreciated and celebrated.
Example B: Relationship Issue
Situation: Your best friend shared your personal info with someone
Default meaning: I trusted X. He/she is lack of integrity. I hate him/her now.
Possible meaning as a Meaning Creator: My friend X could not keep the info I shared with him/her due to his/her limitations. Since the information has already been shared, I cannot do anything to revert it but I learn from this experience and I will never share any sensitive info with any other person. I’ll improve my behaviors because that is the only thing in my control, not any other person’s behavior no matter if he/she is my friend or not.
Both the above examples say that there are more than one ways to look at any situation — and each way will offer different and sometimes opposite meanings.
The powerful discovery is this: As a meaning creator, we have an option to create a meaning that matters to us.
This is an invitation to stop giving unnecessary importance to unimportant things, people, and life-experiences and start giving necessary importance to important things, people and life-experiences that we would not regret.