Meaning ≠ Numbers
We’re addicted to size, to scorecards. Look at the election, sports, capitalism, social media, they’re all driven by numbers, polls, counts.
That’s because we’re taught that “winners” have the highest amount, the lowest weight, or the largest amount of stuff.
We’re so ingrained in this mentality, that what I’m about to say will make some people angry.
It’s not size or place that matters, it’s mattering that matters.
First, when it comes to love, of art, of relationships of meaning, to quantify things is to express only a rough shadow of an actual occurrence.
When we think of times where we felt meaning or felt the shared experiences that make life worthwhile, we find that they’re very difficult to put into numbers.
You can quantify the number of concerts you’ve been to, but does that give any real record of your experiences?
You can say that “any real relationship should go on 1 date a week” — but does that really give you a solid picture of things?
You can quantify your calories, but will that quantify your self-image?
When we try and apply logic-thinking to meaning-seeking, we fall short.
The other problem is, you will always lose in the scheme of the race for number-related success. If you’re on top today, you’re on the bottom tomorrow. There’s always someone richer. There’s always someone who will beat your record. Your quantified achievements don’t last. It’s all impermanent.
But the meaning you felt, the meaning you derived, the people you connected with, that can’t be taken away. Your achievements of connection, insights, and impact can last centuries. We don’t quantify Martin Luther King, or Michaelangelo, but we do connect with them.
You will always win in the race for meaning related experience.
Your measure of success is whatever you believe it is. Because after we’re all gone, no one is going to look back and care about that “success” but you, while you were living it.
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