Are you a “Meaning Making Machine”!!!

Majority of my life I lived with a set mindset and perspective.

For me everything used be BLACK AND WHITE, no grey area. However, with time I realised that one’s RIGHT can be someone else’s WRONG. There’s no right or wrong, it depends upon how we presume, assume and introspect things.

The way we make meaning out of things affects the way we feel or behave. It also plays a huge role in determining how we interact with other people and in response to everyday situations and circumstances. The interpretations we make about these events play a crucial role about the amount of stress we experience in our day.

For example : If someone kills an animal who attacked them, they will be right in the eyes of the LAW cause it was done in self defence however if someone go for hunting and kills an animal they are WRONG cause hunting is illegal.

The end result of both is the same, an animal got killed. However, intentions were different.

The human mind is a complex meaning-making machine that not many people fully understand. Without even trying, most people think that they ‘know’ what things mean … at least most of the time!

Another cliche example : Let’s say someone cuts you off while you’re driving. And let’s assume that your automatic interpretation is “What a selfish and impatient person.”

The interpretation would probably make you feel somewhere in between being mildly frustrated to entering a complete state of road rage. But realise that you most likely didn’t intend on making your interpretation “What a jerk.”

In the example above, the possible ways to interpret someone cutting us off are virtually unlimited! How about this one: The person had unexpected car trouble and now is running terribly late to an important appointment.

“Life is not always black and white, it has shades of grey.”  Hence we need to change the way we perceive and view things. We need to broaden our perspective and how we interpret people, situation and even the way our mind is engineered to think.

The most difficult thing in everyone’s life is to change their habits, their behaviors and their thoughts that they have been bought up into. We all live in fear of things getting changed but isn’t life all about changes? Change has a lot of power, it is a powerful tool that we can use for us or against us. Let’s use it wisely.

It is crucial that we become experts in our thinking and develop the wise habit of challenging and changing ourselves accordingly.

QUESTIONS FOR SELF INTROSPECTION – Answer these honestly and challenge your thinking (if required)

  • Has there recently been a time in your life where you may have jumped to conclusions too quickly and were guilty of getting the wrong end of the stick?
  • How much do you like other people who judge you (or other people) too fast?
  • How often do you give people a benefit of doubt for their actions?

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is
the same.”

– Francesca Reigler

-Apurva

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