I remember a time when I was selected for jury duty.
I showed up.
I was placed on a jury.
And I spent two days in court.
I remember sitting in a jury of 12.
Listening to sides being presented.
And the like.
And then, as a jury, I remember when it was our time.
Our time to decide.
We slowly filed into a room to share our thoughts and decide the verdict.
I remember sitting there, dumbfounded, with the interpretation others created.
I heard meaning created that had no basis in what we had presented to us from someone who clearly had a bias (and even mentioned a previous incident that was affecting their decision... something we're not supposed to do).
I saw a splattering of meaning created by each jury member, including myself.
Meaning is what we make it.
Meaning is colored by how we experience our experiences.
Let me say that again...
One person may have a biological tendency to feel emotions stronger while someone else may not.
This affects how we experience our experiences.
Meaning is colored by past experiences.
The default mode of operating is to reference past experiences to make sense of the present.
Meaning is colored by state.
If you are in a tired state, it affects how you experience a moment and the resulting meaning you create.
If you are in an angry state, it affects the meaning you create.
If you are in a calm state, it affects your meaning.
In Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor, developed a method he refers to as Logotherapy.
He concluded that our desire to find meaning is core to the human experience.
What if you had the ability to see your meaning and to change it?
We each have an internal meaning machine that is constantly spilling out meaning and making sense of our experiences.
This meaning machine, to date, has been constructed of all the tools in our mental toolbox.
Know what meaning you are creating in times of reflection.
And decide, how does that meaning serve you?
Does your meaning give you strength or does it weaken you?
If the meaning you have learned to create does not serve you, change it.
Calibrate your meaning machine.