This week we had our first Masterclass called "Put 'Me' in Meaning." And here are the show notes!
Please enjoy watching the Facebook Live Broadcast embedded below, and interact in the comments as if you were live. We will see your comments, and look forward to seeing you take on the 3 Mini Wild + Brave Challenges issued throughout during the course of the broadcast!
Thank you to everyone who said #ChallengeAccepted, and who shared and connected with us online. You'll notice we really meant it when we weren't selling anything. Was it a welcome change? Do you have insights or feedback on how we can be better? Please share your wild ideas with us. We want to hear from you.
Hi everyone…welcome to our first live Masterclass!
For the next few minutes, we’re going to share the latest science on meaning - what it does for us and how each of us can get more of it, starting now! If you’ve not thought about this topic much or if you’ve been so busy with life that you’re planning on working on this later...you’re going to want to stay tuned!
Now I know we called this a class, but this definitely isn’t a lecture filled with facts and figures, because we know that information alone doesn’t create change. Only accepting a challenge can do that. So we’re going to issue 3 challenges that ‘ll we’ll all be doing together today, that can add this incredible energy source to our life almost immediately! Sound like a wild claim? We challenge you to stick around and find out!
So are you up for a challenge?
Now in case you’re new to our community,
Meet the team: Jeane (aka MOM), and daughters Megan and Morgan. NOTE: Jeane and Megan are on screen, and Morgan is live in the comments.)
We are so excited you’re here.
We love inspiring and empowering people to live more wild and brave every day. And we do it through challenges.
Note from Jeane: Before we start, I have a confession to make: when the team suggested that we tackle meaning as our first Masterclass, my initial reaction was that’s a wild idea! In our family that’s code for “that’s a scary idea!” But being wild + brave means doing things that scare you just a little, so we’re going to jump right in and talk about the "Me" in Meaning!
What is Wild and Brave?
And for those of you who are new …when we say wild..we don’t mean taking crazy risks or jumping out of perfectly good airplanes! We mean thinking wild! Having a growth mindset, not being run by our old fear thoughts or our limiting beliefs. Wild ideas are about what’s possible - what’s positive. They’re the ideas that fuel our future.
But we all know that unless we take immediate action - our ideas die. Only the ideas we take action on have the power to create change. So brave is taking action. Not necessarily the perfect action or the biggest action step, just the next step. The one you’re able and willing to take now.
Living Wild + Brave is a challenge lifestyle that helps us fear less, do more, and have a lot more fun. #ChallengeLifestyle
If you’ve been part of our challenges before, you know we love bite-sized evidence-based ideas and tiny action steps - because that’s how we create change- one step at a time. No one arrives at the top of the mountain and wonders how they got there….They know! They’ve been faithfully taking one step after another. It’s the small consistent actions we take that fuel our forward momentum.
It’s our passion to create and to be a part of a community of people who want to learn and grow and challenge each other to live out our great adventure. To not watch our life go by, but to imagine, design, and create the future we want!
But what we know, is that we need each other to create that kind of life. We need each other to keep thinking wild and acting brave.- to not let fear keep us thinking and playing small. Fear is the number one enemy of brave and it’s all around us in epidemic proportions. But bravery is contagious too- we can catch it from each other!
So we’re glad for every person who’s here with us live today and for those of you who will be watching this later. Welcome to the wild + brave community. If you’re new…let me just say …some amazing humans are part of this community. And we're really glad to have you!
NO SALES PITCH TODAY
Since this is our very first Masterclass, we want to let all of you know whether you’re live or watching this later- that this class isn’t to sell you anything. Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to have you as a client, but we designed Masterclasses for one purpose: to be able to go deeper on some important topics, especially for those of you who aren’t in our coaching programs or part of our challenge groups.
We're talking about putting the ME in meaning! And here's why we picked this as our first Masterclass…
We’ve discovered in our own lives and from years of coaching people, that meaning is a concept that's a little hard to get our head around. Most of us misunderstand or forget the role that meaning plays in our day-to-day life. Meaning is what creates life satisfaction. You know …those rare moments when you feel like ahhh.…that’s nice or that’s satisfying. It's those moments when you feel at ease with yourself and your life.
How many of you would like a little more ease? Not easy, just more ease. More nights that when your head hits the pillow, you feel satisfied!
We’re going to use Martin Seligman’s definition of meaning. He’s the father of Positive Psychology, and he says meaning is “belonging to or serving something bigger than yourself.”
I know this topic seems a little heavy, but we’re going to have a lot of fun today and increase the meaning quotient in 3 areas of our lives. As long as you're up for a challenge!
Let’s start with a question…
Do you know what gives your life meaning?
Yes or no?
We’ve found that most people have a hard time answering that question. Even if you find meaning at some point -it has a way of slipping away. Life moves fast, and sometimes the things that you used to provide meaning, just aren’t there anymore. Maybe some of you have lost a job recently, or a relationship that was meaningful. Life is continually throwing us curveballs.
But the answer to that question is really important.
Because if you said “yes. I know what gives my life meaning!” Statistically speaking, you’re going to live longer. Actually, research shows that, regardless of your age, if you answered yes, you have a 15% lower risk of dying than if you answered NO!
Meaning literally adds days to your life! And it comes with a whole host of additional benefits!
Benefits of Living with Meaning:
- 15% lower risk of dying
- You’ll be More Likable
- You’ll have More friends
- Stronger immune system
- Exhibit less memory and cognitive decline associated with an aging brain
- Be more resilient and have better coping skills
- 170% higher job satisfaction
- 250% more likely to be engaged at work.
- Improved mental health
- Less depression
- Increased self-compassion
- Increased confidence
And all of this combined creates higher life satisfaction- regardless of your circumstances!!
Myths About Meaning
So we need to dispel some myths around this topic before we go on, because a lot of things we think about meaning aren’t really true from a scientific perspective.
Myth #1) Meaning is the same as your Life Purpose
Although purpose is one part of meaning, they aren’t exactly the same thing. Identifying your overarching Life Purpose is a big, sometimes scary topic that we’ll tackle another day. Meaning is a fuel that’s available to you right now- in your daily life.
Myth #2) Meaning is the same thing as Happiness
Both of them are important.. but there's a definite difference!
In general, Happiness is what we experience from achieving something or getting something. Generally speaking, meaning is what we experience from giving.
Each of us are hardwired to want to be more happy, we’re also hardwired to want more meaning in our life.
I like the distinction Viktor Frankl makes. He said: "More than happiness, humans want a reason to be happy."
If you aren’t familiar with Viktor Frankl, he was a psychotherapist who wrote Man's search for Meaning - a book that came out of his experience of being a Jewish prisoner in the death camps. He was was one of the few people to survive Auschwitz. He believed that it was his strong sense of meaning that enabled him to survive the camp. He spent his time trying to help other victims hang on to meaning in order to survive. In his book he describes many of the exercises he used in the death camps to create hope in a place where there was no hope. To find a way to not only survive but to thrive. He was convinced that a strong sense of meaning can actually extend your life, even in the worst of circumstances.
Here’s the thing:
Happiness doesn’t always create meaning in our life but adding meaning to your life will make you happier!
Happiness is a moving target. What makes us happy one moment won’t really keep making us happy.
For example you’re happy when you get a new house (but a little less happy when you make the mortgage payment.) You’re happy when you get a promotion at work. And you’re happy when you get a smile from a stranger or an invitation to go out with a friend. Happiness comes from getting things.
Meaning is found in what we give. Its what we contribute to our friends or our family’s lives. It’s how we add value to our team at work, its the money we give to support nonprofits, or the time we volunteer to help out at the homeless shelter. It’s the investment we make to contribute to our health or personal growth. Meaning comes from what we give, because giving helps us feel like we belong and are making a difference with our life.
Now the first time I heard this research it was in an article titled: "People Without Children are Happier Than People With Children"!
That really rubbed me the wrong way. I have three kids and I’ve always said that being a parent made me really happy.
But when you think about it…Who loves cleaning dirty diapers, or getting up every four hours to feed a newborn, or driving 2 hours a day so your kid can play soccer. Kids are a lot of work and pretty expensive. Who is happier with higher insurance rates, or mountains of dirty clothes or a drained bank account?
As a parent we gladly go through all of this…but NOT because it makes us happier…but because it adds incredible meaning to our life.
Myth #3) Finding Meaning Requires Searching and Sacrifice
So the third and final myth is that Meaning is something that you have to search hard and sacrifice for. But here’s the truth: We don’t have to go to extremes or sacrifice everything to make our lives meaningful. We simply need to recognize that they already are!
And today, each of us is going to be identifying the meaning that already exists in your relationships, your work and your life.
Now each of us will see meaning differently. Meaning is highly personal. Which is why this class is focused on the "Me" part of "Meaning” Meaning starts with ME.
Meaning isn’t what’s going on around you or what happens to you or even what you do. Meaning comes from the story you tell yourself about what’s happening. Each of us gets to assign the meaning to our relationships, our jobs, our spiritual life, our self worth.
The other day a friend asked to meet me for Lunch and I showed up on time…but they were 20 minutes late. Now the reality was that my friend was late, but I had a choice as to what that meant to me. And the rest of my day would be effected but the story I decided to tell myself.
Story #1: She’s late. This was her idea to meet for lunch, seems like she could have planned her schedule better. I’m busy too. This is really cutting into my afternoon.”
Story #2) She’s late…she’s not usually late, something important must have come up…it happens … We might have to cut our time a little short, but its nice she made the effort to get together. While I've got a minute, I’ll check my Facebook page.
Now which story will set me up for a better afternoon?
If I go with story #1, when my friend does arrive - even if I'm smiling, she’ll feel the "So I'm not that important to you" vibe that I’ll be putting off. And that will make her defensive and set us up for a less than fun lunch together. Neither one of us will enjoy or food as much and my digestive system won’t be very happy either.
But if I go with Story #2 When she arrives, she feels understanding and we can ease into a relaxed and more meaningful conversation.
Lunch might be shorter, but the food tastes better, my tummy is happier and I go back to work feeling closer to my friend. - Just because of the meaning I assigned to what happened to me.
All day long we get to tell meaning stories to ourselves that change the energy of our day.
3 Life Areas to Experience Meaning
So today, we’re focusing on 3 areas that each of us can squeeze more meaning from on a daily basis: our relationships, our work, and our spiritual lives.
Remember, meaning is belonging to and serving something bigger than we are. Each of these areas are places we belong and each have opportunities where we can contribute our unique magic.
So, whatever your relationships are, whatever job you currently have, whatever your spiritual beliefs are right now, you can experience more from them on a day to day basis. …If you’re willing to take 3 challenges.
Challenge #1: The Belonging Challenge
The first challenge helps us tune into meaning in the are of our relationships.
Get out a piece of paper or you can use a digital device but we want you to record your answers to the next 2 challenges.
Make a list of all the groups of people you belong to. Think of all the groups that you have relationships with - and write them down as fast as you can.
- Family and friends
- Team at work? Professional associations?
- How about your Neighborhood or region?
- Are you part of a book club, a religious organization, do you have classmates, are you part of a bowling team, a networking group?
- Nonprofit work or volunteering?
- Remember these groups can be virtual, too like the Wild + Brave Community.
Ok stop: So do you have If a lot of groups listed? If you have enough time to complete the exercise fully, I’ll bet you belong a lot more groups than you realized. Just becoming aware of how much you belong helps you experience more meaning.
Did anyone get a boost from just realizing that you belong a lot more than you thought you did?
BONUS: If you want to increase your meaning, just pick one of those groups that you already belong to and think of how you can give more. Now I don’t mean money, necessarily, you could give more time. If you have a networking group you could show up more or when you show up you could give more attention - you could smile more, you could give more compliments, more referrals. You could schedule more night outs with your partner, or your kids, or your friends. Think of ways you can give more to the groups you belong to.
Here’s the thing, each of you are good at giving something. And you probably don't even realize how much you give to others all day long. Maybe you’re really good at encouraging others or sharing ideas, or troubleshooting problems. Maybe you're great at smiling! Did you know that giving a smile - even to a perfect stranger - causes their brain to light up? What you give means a lot to other people. So take a moment and think of what your good at giving and how much it means to others. You all have a lot to give- and remember, meaning has a lot to give you back.
So that’s a simple way to experience more meaning, doing the things you’re already doing!
So the next challenge is about finding more meaning in our Work:
We all have work that we do- whether it's for our family, for a boss, or as an entrepreneur.
What we’ve found is that most people underestimate the value they contribute through their work!
I like the story about President Kennedy who was visiting NASA in the 1960s and he passed a janitor in the hall and he stopped and asked “Sir, what is it that you do here?” and the janitor answered, “ Well Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon!”
Most of us don’t have jobs at places like NASA or we don’t work in jobs that people usually associate with having a lot of meaning- like doctors, or the clergy, or teachers.
We assume that people in the helping professions have a greater sense of meaning because of the work they do. But one of my favorite research studies on meaning at work was done at a hospital where some of the janitors reported having a great sense of meaning from their job because they saw themselves as a part of a team that healed people. But in that same hospital were surgeons who reported experiencing very little meaning from their work. They basically were putting in time and picking up a paycheck.
And that’s the whole point…meaning isn’t about what you do - its all about how you view what you do. You get to assign the meaning of your role or your job. Most of us aren’t going to cure cancer or end world hunger, but whatever job you have…you can experience more meaning from it simply by changing how you see your role.
Challenge #2: The Hero Challenge
So we want you to think of at least one thing you do at work that leaves your team or organization, or your clients better off. How does your work help others? We want you to identify it and give yourself a cool nickname!
So I want you to take a moment and think about ways you add value to your company or your team at work. It doesn’t have to be something in your job description, maybe its something else you contribute. And then give yourself a nickname that highlights what you contribute or add to your team. Don’t make this hard! It could be something big or little, fun or serious…just meaningful to you.
For example, when I was a nurse, I worked at a medical practice with a young girl named Chelsea. One of the surgeons introduced her to me as the assassin! He explained that they called her that because it was her responsibility to assassinate all germs and bacteria; He said Chelsea made it possible for him to stay in business, for each of us to get a paycheck, and for our patients to remain safe from infections. And as Chelsea turned around to leave- with a big smile on her face - I saw that the doctors had embroidered a shield and sword with the word Assassin across the back of her lab coat.
Now here's the thing: Chelsea was the lowest paid staff member, but she loved her job. And by helping her assign meaning to her role, Chelsea showed up to work ready to rock. She was fully engaged because she knew what she did mattered and she knew that her boss and her teammates knew it too.
So what’s your meaningful nickname?
Maybe you’re a dental hygienist, but you’re really the Zen Master because you’re the one everyone calls to calm down the panicked patients. Or maybe you work in the billing department but you’re Guy Fieri or Julia Child because you’re always leaving yummy snacks in the break room for your team.
I know one bankruptcy attorney who calls himself the “liberator” because he says he set’s people free. It doesn’t matter what you do. it only matters what you believe about what you do. So take a few seconds and give yourself a meaningful nickname….
Now if this is hard for you, you could choose a favorite TV or Movie character that portrays the feeling you have about what you contribute with your work. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur and you feel like Madam secretary, or maybe you’re a stay at home parent and you feel like Mister Rogers. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you!
If you’re brave enough, please share in the comments what your nickname is! If you’re listening to this later, we’d still love for you to put your nickname in the comments and add to the conversation.
Don’t make this hard …have a little fun with this challenge.
We hope this challenge has jumpstarted your thinking about how meaningful the work you do is. If your nickname doesn’t inspire you make you smile, take some time later and think a little more deeply into how what you do matters to others, to the planet, or to yourself!
Ok, so the final challenge is to increase the meaning you experience in your spiritual life.
Spiritual: According to the scientists who developed the worlds largest database on wellbeing - spirituality is a universal value. You can think of spirituality as chasing the sacred- or your desire to connect with God or a higher power, or your search for the meaning of life. Spirituality is connected to our deepest beliefs and it’s how we draw meaning out of our experiences, both past and present.
Brené Brown says “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.”
Spirituality isn’t being religious, but religion is a great way to experience more meaning. Practicing a religion gives you a code of ethics to live by, it provides a community to belong to, and a place to contribute or serve.
Spirituality is highly individual. And we know there are many different beliefs and faiths represented in our wild + brave community so we’re going to paint with a broader brush today and share an evidence-based challenge that can help all of us experience a deeper sense of meaning.
Challenge #3: The Jaw Drop Challenge
Now you guys know what we mean when we say jaw drop- it's even better than a mic drop. It’s what happens to you when you’re wonderstruck! Your jaw actually drops when you experience the positive emotion scientists call awe. Awe is being filled with wonder.
We’ve all experienced awe, Type in the comments of the last time you experienced it: maybe overlooking the Grand Canyon, or at Niagara Falls or when you first looked into your newborn's eyes! And can you remember how those experiences kind of changed you???
I know the 72-day camping adventure Morgan took where she visited 30 national parks for her 30th birthday was life changing! She is still running on the energy she got from that experience. Awe makes you feel awesome!
Research shows that experiencing awe can make you kinder, more generous, less entitled, less self-important. It can increase your intellectual curiosity, your humility, and your happiness. It makes you feel like you have more time, and It even lowers your cytokine levels which are associated with disease. So it pays to experience awe!
And the good news is that opportunities to experience awe are all around you every day- you don’t have to travel. You can experience awe by reading inspiring stories, or hearing revolutionary ideas, or getting around inspiring people, by taking a nature walk.
Let yourself be awed on a daily basis, just by looking at your world with fresh eyes. F
For example, just look at an ant! Since there are about 1 million ants for every human, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding them! But really watch an ant in action for one minute. They’re awesome!
Ants can carry 10-150 times their body weight- which means they have a larger muscle to body ratio than you do! They form colonies and work together flawlessly - even without any ears. They use vibrations that they pick up in an organ just below their knee. And they navigate using the earth magnetic field! These little guys have pretty much conquered the world, except maybe Antarctica and the Arctic! They aerate the soil, help keep the environment clean and if we open our eyes, they can cause our jaws to drop.
But ant watching isn't the jaw drop challenge.
The Jaw Drop Challenge, is to watch a 5 minute awe- inducing video which we’ll be putting the link to on the page as soon we close here in a minute. We want you to watch it at least once in the next 24 hours and then add a comment or even just a thumbs up to let us know you took the challenge!
If this video doesn’t make your jaw drop, then go to Youtube and find a video of outer space or underwater…whatever is more appealing to you. But watch the video you choose on as big of a screen as possible and try to create a distraction-free environment so you can more fully engage in the experience.
You can connect with awe anytime you have a computer or phone. You could start your morning or fuel your afternoon with awe- It's just a click away!
Myth #4: The Myth of TOO
Before we close, there's one final Myth we want to caution you about:
The myth of TOO:
You’re too old, you’re too busy you’re too late! You’ve missed too much...
But the truth is, it’s never too late too late to decide to become more satisfied with your life. To begin living with more ease.
Each of you are uniquely gifted to show up and show off in the world. You don't need to change your life - just change how you view all the ways you give to others, how the work you do matters, and how YOU matter, can provide the fuel you need to live your wild + brave adventure.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our first Masterclass. It’s been a lot of fun for us and if you’d like to continue the discussion or if you have any questions or need clarification of anything we’ve discussed- just leave a comment and tag one of us or Message Us or Send Us an Email.
And we’d love to hear any topics you’d like for us to tackle in future Facebook lives.
You all mean a lot to us and if there’s anything we can do to help you on your wild + brave adventure…please reach out!