founder of naked leader
The Meaning that you choose to give it.
Last week I wrote about The Gap
The Gap in which your mind decides what just happened, what it means and how you should react.
Our brains want to reply quickly, it relies on these three resources – knowledge, experience and imagination – to give this event a meaning. And one of these far, far more than the others:
And not just imagination of what this event means from past experiences, also from future ones that haven’t happened yet, including what will happen next.
And due to that part of our brain that many psychologists call our dinosaur brain – which keeps us safe from harm – we have a natural (and it is nature) bent to see what might be negative, harmful, pain in what has just happened, and so we conclude the meaning of the event in exactly the same way and react accordingly.
And here’s the thing- no event has any meaning other than what we choose to give it!
So it doesn’t matter what anyone’s intentions may or may not have been. As far as we’re concerned the best meaning is the one that gives us the best outcome for the path we wish to travel.
So, for example, when someone gives me negative feedback is it more helpful to think
‘You are undermining me and saying I’m no good at this’ and respond with ‘you’re a complete idiot, and just exactly what makes you think you know better?’ And feel annoyed or
‘this is helpful information that some people might react this way and I can change to accommodate this’. And respond with a ‘thank you, I’ll bear that in mind’ and feel calm and improve yourself.
There are other times when we read the wrong and most unhelpful meaning into something here’s an example that really happened to me.
I was once emailed by a Client CEO before an event that included the line “I understand from people that you have a lot to learn David”
After several months of analysing what he meant – and worry, the event arrived and we met.
As casually as I could I said “eh, you said in your email that I have a lot to learn, I just wondered what you meant by that?”
To which he replied “Well you have David…” (at this point I nearly hit him)”…I understand you are doing your whole presentation without any notes – that is quite a skill” (at this point I almost kissed him).
And all of that leads us to the single most important truth that will turn that vicious circle into a victorious circle – as you take back total control of events – your relationships, your future, your life:
No event has any meaning, other than the meaning that you choose to give it
Any event, every event – perhaps even life
With my love and best wishes
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