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Meaning and Labels and Excuses. Oh my!


Full Disclosure: I have to remind myself of this Every. Single. Day. And sometimes it's reeeaaaalllly difficult...which is ironic to say because by saying it's difficult I'm labeling it as difficult - aka - giving it meaning.

Think about how often we label or define something based on our interpretation: events, people, encounters with people, experiences, even time. For example: Concerts = Good; Work = Bad (or chore). But why? Because that's the meaning you gave it. The thing is, once you give it a meaning it can never show up any other way. The brain will give you 'proof' of that meaning and filter out the 100,000 other things that actually show up.

For example: take your relationship with your Grandmother. If you know your Grandmother as gentle and kind. Always generous. Demure. Proper. Etc. But along comes Betty, her friend from high school. And Betty says, "Oh man, back in the day your Grandmother was quite the partier! She was a trouble maker. Always instigating, causing trouble, and frankly, she was the mean girl." 😯 Mind. Blown. But does that completely change how you experience Grandma? Nope. You still experience Grandma as gentle and kind and generous and demure and proper. Yet, when Betty's around Grandma gets a little ornory and sassy. But your brain will filter that out because it doesn't fit with the story and truth you 'know'. But it doesn't mean a different story or truth doesn't exist. You've given the experience meaning - it is your responsibilty to change the meaning if you don't like it.

I love to listen to James Wedmore's podcost Mind Your Business and this week he spoke about this same concept as it applies to Time. What labels or meanings have you been giving to time? There's not enough time? I'm too busy? I need more hours in the day? Time flies when your having fun? Time is money? Again, we have assigned these meanings to time. So, as James offers, dig deep: What benefits are you getting by labeling your experience with time as such? He poses a guess (which I agree with): you get an excuse to avoid doing something you don't want to do.

Here's the thing, just as above, if you are having a negative experience, which includes Complaining about something, or you 'don't have enough time' it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to change it. You can not be 100% Responsible for your actions/choices/life and be the victim at the same time.

I pose a small little homework assignment to you: What meanings are you giving to Time/People/Work/Experiences day in and day out? I PROMISE if you take the time to truly reflect on this, look at what 'benefits' you get from these meanings, take 100% responsibility, and then take action your life will change.

If you want to chat about this concept or work through something in regards to this, send me a PM!

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