The meaning we subscribe to life.
Change is the effect of both natural and artificial forces playing out upon our lives. From the time we are created our minds are molded in the construct of good and bad, pleasant and uncomfortable experiences. Life is constantly reforming itself to the forces impacting upon it so that each entity attempts to exist by recreating, evolving and adapting itself to the changing environment. We are very much a part of this process with one decisive difference, we imprint meaning to ‘things’ on an individual and in a group manner.
The question that comes to mind for us as humans is, what conditioning and imprinting on our minds has caused us to look upon our experiences in one way or another? What causes us to ask such questions as ‘Why is life so hard’, ‘I did not see this happening to me’, ‘Why would (filling in the blank) let this happen to us? ‘How is it that I have worked so hard and now everything has fallen to pieces’?
In attempting to address these century old questions is to ask yet another question, ‘what blue print have we been given for our lives? What template are we using that supports or detracts from our ability to whether the storms of life? As humans we experience nature in all its elements. We also experience the artificial forces, manmade meaning of our experiences that give a different dimension to the word, concept of change. The question still remains, what causes us to react and respond in the manner we do?
As a living organism we are as basic as life can be, 99% of our mass is made up of six elements oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Only about 0.85% is composed of another five elements: potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. Yet who ever thinks of themselves in this manner.
Our brains control every thought and action in our bodies and is considered the most complex organ in the human body. The brain is divided into functional units that regulate particular tasks such as processing visual information, smell, taste, listening and feeling objects around us. There is one element of our brain that interprets an intangible behavior called pain and pleasure, courage and fear, which in psychology are one of the same, emotion. It is the meaning we subscribe to an event that makes the difference in our experiences and hence in our lives.
A primary element of an individual is our cognitive skills. The mental act and process to acquire knowledge through perception, deduction/reasoning and intuition. These are skills directly related to our knowledge of our environment and exposure to life itself. The natural emotions of pain and pleasure, courage and fear are enhanced by our being imprinted by both cultural and social meaning. The questions proposed earlier related to our jobs, the family dynamic and our individual desires within our manmade environments build a personal level of attachment that directs our decision making to be more personal. We focus on a desired understanding of our current state of meaning of our experience and life becomes more about me, you, and us! We can and do create meaning.
In beginning to answer the question, how to adapt to change, we need to ask better questions. Consider this. What will it take to develop an engaging mind focused on seeking out learning styles that will support, adapt and evolve as situations demand? It is our desire to develop these intangible skills that produce and accumulate a library of resource behavior that permits us to adapt and manage change successfully even when outcomes are not achieved.
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Ronald M. Allen