Ripples #1193: The Gift of Meaning


Remember, you alone get to choose what matters and what doesn’t. The meaning of everything in your life has precisely the meaning you give it.
-Marc & Angel Chernoff, shared by Steven in Aurora, CO


I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way, we can always give it a meaning that transforms it into something of value.
-Hermann Hesse, shared by Shivani in Santa Monica, CA


One of the very first activities I ever created for a presentation is one that to this day I still use in almost every talk I give. It involves each participant receiving an inspirational quote (by the way it is this very activity that inspired the format of these weekly Ripples emails!).

Some people choose to believe there is a *reason* they were supposed to receive the quote that ends up finding them, that a higher power or higher order is scooting the message to them. I think that can be a perfectly fine way to approach the activity (and life in general), although I’ve observed that we flawed humans sometimes project our fears and fantasies on to what we then label Divine Order or The Way Things Are.

I encourage people to consider the possibility that the card they receive could be at least partially a random coincidence and their work is to *create* the meaning. If they are inclined to pursue this option I ask them to think about how the quote might be useful when thinking about a particular issue they are facing, whether it be connected to work or school or just life in general. You can try it out right now if you’d like with the Virtual Ripples Deck and also our Quote Pond  (hat tip to my friend and coding whiz Marc who created both).

Whether it is an inspirational quote, a breaking headline in the news, or maybe something going on personally, be mindful that even when we don’t have complete control over what is happening, there is room for us to co-create the meaning it has in our life.

P.S. If in the next few days you’d like to support our Ripply efforts by ordering a printed set of our spiffy new Ripples Deck  this week, a few bonus treats may find their way into your package.

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