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Meaning – one of the most powerful forms of change

Each week for me has always seemed to have a theme. That’s what prompted me to write this weekly newsletter and share with you all some of the distinctions and tools that make the difference towards living an empowered joyous life.

This week’s theme is about "meaning". A friend shared with me an annoyance in the work place. Seems the co-workers are noisy and disruptive. Ever been there? The real challenge however is what’s happening to my friend inside. These situations can bother us and take us out of being happy and in the game. Have you ever had that happen to you?

So what we really want isn’t to change other people. Big leap right? We’re not the social police. What we really want is to be happy. Isn’t that really what you want? So how do we do that?

Well it often comes down to the "meaning" we have for something. One definition of "meaning" is "to act as a symbol of". Notice, we are making a picture of the event in our minds. That picture has a feeling attached and that makes us behave. It’s a simple formula really. The thought makes us feel, the feeling makes us act.

When I was in my 20s, just learning NLP, I had one of these un-resourceful feelings. Crying babies just bothered me. I wanted to ask the parents to have some consideration for us and think about the noise. I realized this wasn’t very productive. Was I going to get bothered every time a baby cried? So I looked at the "meaning" I held for this experience. It meant that "they are rude, disrespectful". Of course I felt bothered.

The answer: find out "what else could this mean?" After looping through many answers like, "I don’t know" or "they need to leave", I came to "babies are free to express themselves without years of people trying to silence them". Now that lit me up like a 1000 watt bulb. I love the freedom to speak. And to this day, I get a big grin when I hear a baby crying. All this after 5 minutes of really answering this question for myself. The new picture in my head is like a person on stage, really belting out their passion.

Now maybe I still want to take action, but I’ve got a big smile on my face. I’d probably want to help. How different will my results be when I’ve got a smile on my face and in heart?
So is something "bothering" you? It’s amazing that when it no longer bothers you, it seems like no one does the thing that bothered you in the first place. Magic exists!

An Exercise

1. Think of something that bothers you.
2. Find out what meaning you currently have stored. What’s the picture in your head? What meaning is attached? You might think of a "meaning" as just a connector, a filter, between the outside world and the way you feel. It’s a "means" to your feelings.
3. Keep asking yourself this question: "What else could it mean?" Keep asking yourself this question until you find the answer that lights you up and makes you feel great.
4. Notice that this is "your" answer. It’s been waiting inside you all this time to be discovered.
5. BONUS: Notice how when something no longer bothers you, it slowly goes away. When you don’t feed it energy it dissipates. Yes, you are that powerful!

Using your Inherent Excellence

Think of flying a plane. We glance at a gauge it reads "50". I read it and think, "looks bad". The pilot knows it means "everything is great". He recalls a meaning and takes action, which might be just to smile, maybe saving all the passengers on board. People around us are just like gauges, by themselves, there is no meaning. The meaning is in you. Check your training. Did you go to a great flight school?
Oh yes, and there’s someone out there saying "that’s fine, but he needs to change". When you’re standing in your power, not playing small, you change your feelings first and see if that doesn’t change everything.

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