Joel’s newsletter on Meanings And Opportunities, July 29, 2009
An ezine about Creative thinking, Coaching, and Making a difference
Meanings and opportunities
My wife Lisa and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this week. We visited the church in Newport RI where we were married a year ago, and we spent some time with her parents. We also visited some places we hadn't been before, like Rough Point (Doris Duke's home). It was a nice mini-vacation.
Why do we celebrate anniversaries? An anniversary simply marks a significant event that happened one or more years before. Does the anniversary have any meaning in itself? After all, it's just a date on the calendar. I believe that the meaning of anything is the meaning we give it. When we choose to give meaning to dates like anniversaries, they become significant to us. (We could just as easily choose to ignore them if we wanted. But I don't think that would be so much fun!) And since we have the choice, they can have whatever meaning(s) we want them to have.
This leads to an interesting possibility. What shall we choose our anniversary to be about? Or if you are having an anniversary come up soon, what do you want yours to be about? I like to choose meanings which are in the form of opportunities. A wedding anniversary presents many possible opportunities. Here are some meanings and opportunities that I came up with.
* Celebrate by going out to dinner, and having a romantic evening! * Look at how far we've come as a couple over the last year. * Remember and reconnect with our wedding day (we have it on video) and read some of the cards we received then. * Renew our commitment to each other. * Talk about how we could help to heal the planet (this was a common purpose that we stated when we got married). * Ask ourselves how we could deepen our love and connection with each other. * Take some photos and start an Anniversary album (and add to it each year).
There are many more meanings and opportunities possible. Whether we follow through on any of them is another matter. But it is useful to realize that we can decide what we want an anniversary to be about and choose to celebrate it or honor it in any ways we wish. I'll leave it to you to guess what we actually did on our first anniversary; the important thing is that you get to choose whatever works for you!
Coaching can help you find new empowering meanings for situations and events in your life Contact Coach Joel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 973-635-1048.
Creative thinking insight
Creative thinking is more than finding new ideas to solve problems; it's also about looking for new meanings, as in the above example of our wedding anniversary.
We can use creative thinking to come up with meanings for everything from anniversaries to zodiac signs. What is the meaning of a symbol, a tradition, an event, a news story, a family photograph, an email message, or a knock on the door?
A knock on the door could mean many things, depending on the situation: a friend coming, a package being delivered, someone wanting a donation, a prankster, the doorbell not working, the wind blowing debris against the house in a storm, etc. In the case of a knock on the door, you would probably just go and look, and then the meaning would become clear. But in other situations you might not be able to check it out right away.
A family photograph could mean different things to different people: It might mean nothing special to an outside observer. It could mean warm memories to a member of that particular family. It might be an example of good (or poor) lighting to a photographer. To someone interested in family history, it might provide clues about who was living when and with whom.
Whatever the situation, we usually associate some meaning with it without thinking too much. Sometimes the meaning becomes clear later on. However, if we think creatively, we can come up with more possible meanings. Some of them may be more plausible than others. Some of them we may choose to explore in more depth. In any case, the search for new meanings will help us become aware of how often we tend to make assumptions about what something means.
Next time something unusual (or even ordinary) happens, ask yourself - what could this mean? See how many ideas you can come up with. It's an excellent way to stimulate creative thinking.
There's a lot more to say about creative thinking and meaning. I hope this short article stimulates your thinking about finding new meanings and opportunities!
Quote of the week
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes." - Marcel Proust
I like this quote because it suggests that there is so much yet to be discovered, if only we start looking in new ways. I believe that there really is more to be seen by changing our point of view than there is by going someplace new. Our experiences, knowledge, and intentions change our perspective. "Been there, done that" is a popular phrase, but it doesn't take into account that we can go to the same spot and see it from a different place in ourselves, or with the new perspective that we have acquired from experience. Perhaps you can find additional meanings in this quote by Proust.
This newsletter is written by Joel Remde, to receive this newsletter via email contact email@example.com. I welcome your comments and feedback; that will help me learn what you’re interested in and also make this a better newsletter.
Learn more about The Creative Thinking Coach at www.coachjoel.com
MORE Perspectives by Coach Joel Remde
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Creative Thinking and Life Potentials
Ways To Respond To Problems
Potential and Possibilities
Making A Difference
Meanings And Opportunities
A Vision Makes A Difference
A Tribute To Don Hewitt
Lessons From The River
What Is Creative Thinking?
It's All About Energy
More On Energy
Place Of Power
Buildings And Values
Small Town Trauma
Voting And Choosing
Veterans And Gratitude
Thanksgiving, Thankfulness And More
Remembering Jim Rohn - A Great Philosopher
Love One Another
A Look At The Year
Happy New You
Creativity And The Economy
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