Meaning Making

I said it again yesterday ” I have 168 hours every week, I sleep less than 68 so I have 100 hours every week to fill with meaning making stuff.” What does that look like? Well I hope that the 7-10 hours a week maintaining this blog counts. The 10-20 hours a week of other writing, 10-20 hours reading and researching, 10-20 responding to inquiries, 30 hours coaching clients, 5 – 10 hours volunteering, 10 hours on personal fitness, 5 hours on spiritual refreshing, 40 hours caring for family and friends, 20 hours exploring my world all are meaning making.

We create meaning by being intentional in how we approach the day-to-day, how we celebrate the extraordinary and how we curiously seek new relationships and ongoing learning. Once I figure out what meaning I am making in a given situation; coaching – helping clients solve their problems, cleaning – making our world safer and more pleasant, reading – expanding my perspective … then I should (should because I don’t always) ask “how can I do this better/differently so that meaning is magnifies. Meaning making is a productivity practice. Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski’s research indicates that “people with callings ( meaning making) are different. They see their work as a positive end in itself. They feel good about what they’re doing. They give more to their work. They get more from it. And here’s a secret about people with callings: Not only are they happy and fulfilled, they’re often very successful, sometimes bringing financial rewards.”

Meaning

Creating meaning requires that we look for meaning in our lives, not life in general. Writing a journal of  your activities can be helpful, if you go back and reflect on how … made meaning for you and/or someone/something else. The reflection is also helpful because it will show you where your time is spent not being meaningful. You can then choose to do nothing or do something else.

We make the most meaning, have the most impact and find the most enjoyment doing those things that we are perfectly suited for (where we are skilled and passionate). Contrary to some thought, being well rounded doesn’t make us better. I have long since dismissed the idea that I should work on my weaknesses. I focus on my strengths, acknowledge that certain details elude me and appreciate the forest. That in itself has helped me become more effective, more energized and happier.

What charges your batteries? What meaning making makes you buzz? How can you do more/better? A coach or ally might be able to help you get the meaning motor running.

Make Today Remarkable and full of meaning,

B

UPDATE

I received this post from Awaken the morning after this post.

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.

What matters is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment. One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”

— Victor Frankl, “Man’s Search For Meaning

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