Meaning Matters

art of encore living personal development Nov 16, 2022

Human beings are meaning-making machines.

We are uncomfortable with uncertainty and randomness.

We try to make sense of what we don't understand and impose order on chaos.

But here's the thing, in our desire to make sense of ourselves, our situation, and each other, we put another natural human predilection to work—storytelling.

And when our desire to close loops and tell stories collide, we fall prey to the narrative fallacy.

In our effort to simplify complexity, we cling to simplistic and often irrational beliefs.

When coupled with our need for belonging and identity building, the narrative fallacy can lead us to conclusions that are comedic and catastrophic.

What to do?

First, cultivate a practice of hitting pause when you catch yourself caving into a knee-jerk reaction to a thought, interaction, or event.

This creates space for consciousness, deliberation, and reasoning.

Second, align your thoughts and actions around your core values and vision for who you are and seek to become to be more thoughtful and responsive.

Human beings are also aiming creatures. Aim well by setting and keeping worthwhile ends in mind.

Third, experiment instead of extrapolating. Instead of seeking confirmation for your sketchy cause-and-effect narrative through inductive reasoning, deduce what's happening through empirical evidence.

A beneficial side-effect of an experimental approach is that it's playful and helps you not take yourself, your situation, and others too seriously.

Meaning matters. It matters a lot. How can you start making meaning matter more by meaning-making better today?


Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at The Art of Encore Living

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