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The Process of Meaning-Making | Zat Rana

Reality Of Matter

If there was no matter and no design, life would have been a blank dream, with no color or flavour.

Meaning is found when matter and objects collide with consciousness and subjectivity. The cycles of nature are prime examples of this, showing to us that meaning is the vitality and the action that we fill in matter.

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The Process of Meaning-Making | Zat Rana

The Process of Meaning-Making | Zat Rana

https://zatrana.com/meaning-making/

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Key Ideas

Finding Meaning

Sir Isaac Newton, was the famous English mathematician and physicist whose profound works on gravity, mechanics, optics and calculus, among other subjects have greatly shaped science in the coming centuries.

His contributions have altered and reshaped everything that Science had to offer.

The Meaning Of Meaning

The concept of meaning, points to objective and subjective modes.

  • Objective: The world or the universe as it exists.
  • Subjective: The ‘I’, the person that exists to experience the universe.

Isaac Newton gave visibility to this very fabric of reality, making meaning an action, a synthesis of objectivity and subjectivity, both of which are vital.

Vitality Of Life

The architect Christopher Alexander concludes that life is everywhere, in an interconnected way, by design. Nature, animals, plants, mountains, clouds, rivers, valleys, birds and insects just fit together in harmony. Nature’s design is integrated and flawless.

Reality Of Matter

If there was no matter and no design, life would have been a blank dream, with no color or flavour.

Meaning is found when matter and objects collide with consciousness and subjectivity. The cycles of nature are prime examples of this, showing to us that meaning is the vitality and the action that we fill in matter.

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Albert Einstein worked at a Swiss patent office, a rather uninspiring place relative to his interest in physics. Between the hours he spent on the job, he also dedicated hours to scientific work. He was deliberate in his commitment to creation, which led to the formulation of the two fundamental theories in physics: general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Seeking connections between existing ideas

Creativity is not equivalent to originality. Creativity is just a new way of combining old ideas.

Albert Einstein saw invention as a product of "combinatory play." He would separate his existing ideas from language, so he could freely visualise and mix these known elements of information to arrive at some new logically connected concept.

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The gap between surviving and thriving

There is a gap between the state of surviving and thriving that needs to be closed before a thriving life can be embraced.

In the modern world, our senses are abused by artificial lights, sounds, and smells in the cities we live in. Our media devices fill us with more helpful and useless information that we can consume in multiple lifetimes. Our problem is not with the abundance, but that we don't know how to manage all of this.

What successful people have in common

When the most successful people were interviewed in the 1990s, they all shared one commonality: They were incredibly complex people. They were both differentiated and integrated.

They were differentiated because they took it on themselves to get exposed to the world. They were integrated because they learned to make sense of this diverse absorption.

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Failure As A Tool
Failure As A Tool

If we look at the number of failures and setbacks in Elon Musk’s life, we begin to see why he is so successful.

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Early Years Of Elon Musk
  • Right from childhood, Elon Musk preferred books over people, often devouring them at one go.
  • He was an introvert and a deep thinker and began to gather deep insights about life and how to shape humanity and the future of mankind.
  • Musk eventually developed a practical and efficient approach towards goals and carried the drive to follow through.
Reaching Golas By Embracing Failure

Elon Musk shows the world how big, audacious goals can be achieved by dividing them into smaller milestones and embracing failure and negative feedback.

His goals are not something he is doing for the media circus, but something in which he is emotionally committed. Goals work when they are bigger than ourselves, enhancing our commitment and responsibility towards them.

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Measuring productivity

The common way to tell the importance of our work is by how meaningful this is for us. Practically, it is about how well, how rewarded we feel after having done our shift.

When it comes to economics, productivity is what measures this meaningfulness. And it most often translates into the amount of money that has resulted from doing our work.

The three levels of individual productivity

There are three main elements that lead to a certain outcome when it comes to individual productivity: energy, information and creativity.

The first two go together very well, as we need energy in order to be physically able to work, while information is what guides us in regards to how to make better use of our energy and time, in order to reach a certain goal. Creativity, on the other hand, can be perceived as a unique feature, as it enables us to be more efficient while also discovering new ways to do things.

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The Culture Of Individual Relationships

The culture built in an individual relationship is more open and meaningful than a group culture, because it gives the possibility for differences to exist without them getting in the way.

When we're developing individual friendships, we’re setting up tacit, but dynamic rules for these relationships (with each conversation and shared experience we go through). This creates organic connections and sets the rule for the future - every future communication we have will be defined by the rules and the context set by our past communications.

When Happiness Is Related To Other People

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  • When novice players play chess, they focus on what to do with the pieces. They may try and visualise a few steps ahead, but mostly just react to the board without considering the reasons behind the pieces.
  • Professional chess players focus on how their opponents think. They seek to ask the right questions to understand their opponent's process.

Whether in chess or life, don't be fooled by what's on the surface. The best approach is to have a framework in place to trim the fat and focus on what matters. Ask enough pointed questions to lead you to clear answers.

Balance Calculation with Imagination

In chess, students learn famous patterns and tactics. If an opponent does one thing, you are expected to react with another.

While it is good to recognize appropriate cues and employ the tactics you have learned, sometimes it is good to look towards where you want to end up and fill the gaps in a new way rather than using the past to move in a predictable direction.

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Meaningful Work
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While a majority of people struggle to find meaningful work, those who are fortunate enough to have it, have another challenge: Staying connected with that meaning.

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A Deeper Reason Of Working

The first and foremost step is to find a deep reason to do our work, which has to be beyond financial and obligatory reasons. If we don’t have a deep reason to work, it will feel meaningless and stressful for us. A deeper ‘why’ of our work provides us with inspiration and makes even challenging work stress-free.

Find a reason greater than yourself, like changing the world, helping people you care about, reducing pain in others, or to protect your loved ones, and even self-love.

Set Rituals To Remind You Of Your Meaning

As we get in the ‘doing’ mode we lose track of why something was important and meaningful to us in the first place.

Creating certain rituals that calm the mind and connect us to our basic nature can help, like a short meditation or simple prayer to remind us of our main motivation.