Curiosity and Meaning: Say what?

We are curious people and by nature we want to understand everything. We interpret the world around us based on experiences from our past, friends and families.

And we tend to give meaning to just about everything. Lookat all the meaning that you have assigned to your life – all the stuff that you have made up about yourself, your circumstances, and other people. Now, let me be clear… I certainly do not mean to imply that your circumstances – the facts and situations in your life – are made up.

What I’m talking about is the meaning we give these facts and circumstances. We can do such a disservice to ourselves by assigning meaning that does not support or make us feel very good.

We are meaning givers – it’s human nature. Now here’s the deal: The meaning we give something is a choice that we get to make.

Let me share an example:

I will be 60 in less than a year. And as an almost 60 year-old man, I’ve decided that I’m behind with my career, income, retirement account; I could go on and on. There are times that I think, “It’s too late – I’ll never reach my potential.”

Notice how both of these ideas, I’m behind and It’s too late for me to reach my potential are made up. I have given intense meaning to turning 60 that makes me feel bad about myself – wow, how yucky is that?!

I’ve made up that to truly make it at the level I want to make it, and to have the impact I want to have, that it’s too late. I’ve run out of time.

Now even as I say this, I realize I don’t know where this idea came from. I totally made it up! What’s important is that I’m awarethat I’ve made it up.

Age is an easy place to keep us stopped. And yet many have had true success in their latter years:

 1). Louise Hay started Hay House when she was 60! Today, Hay House is the largest publisher of self-help, inspirational and transformational books and products in the world.

 2). At 96, Harry Bernstein published his first book, “The Invisible Wall,” three years after he started writing to cope with loneliness after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, passed away.

Wow, if they did all of that, what can you and I do?!

Knowing that the meaning we give something is made up – we get to choose a different meaning that may serve us better.

Try this… “My 60 years have given me the perfect amount of life experience to be very clear about what message I am here to deliver.” This makes me smile and gives me a sense of pride and joy. It even motivates me.

And… I’ve made it up that I have to work really hard to be successful. And that means I need to work 60+ hours a week, deliver back-to-back workshops and keynotes, and travel nonstop around the globe.

This just makes me tired!

Hard Work = Success is an equation that I’ve created that does not serve me. A new equation might be… the quality of my work matters more than the quantityof my work.

Notice what you’ve made up.
Take a good, hard look at yourself, and see what you’ve made up. Discover your beliefs that no longer serve you.

Create a list. And then ask yourself: What is the meaning I want to assign to these beliefs. What do I want to make up now?

As you become conscious of what you’re making up – and what you’re not – clarity will begin to occur. And when there is clarity, there is choice.

It is within your power and consciousness to decide.



  • Robin Miller Reply

    Beautifully stated Rick and this resonates. Thank you for sharing. I am not alone in this feeling and neither are you. The collective energy of us all will make some “kickin” things happen while being and showing up.

    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Thank you Robin for sharing– it just helps to know we are not alone in this thing called “our lives!” Much success to all you wish to continue to create with your life.

  • Nancy Powers Reply

    Thank you Rick,

    I love reading your posts all these years. Welcome to the 60’s! Come on in, the water is warm. I am grateful to have reached this milestone last summer.

    Thank you for the reminder about the awareness of the meaning assigned to things. Yes, 60 is powerful!

    “The quality of my work is more important than the quantity.” I will use this one too.

    “The quality of my play is important!”

    “I am visible and powerful in all that I be and do.”

    All my best,
    Nancy Powers

    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Grateful to you for receiving these words today! I think I do like the water of our 60’s–so much less to prove now! Much continued success and joy into your life!

  • Donna Reply

    Very timely post. I love your point of view. It is all made up!! I need to keep reminding myself of this. I retire this year and feel unprepared to move from work to retirement. You remind me that we can find our purpose at any age. Thank you and enjoy the 60’s.

    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Yes, indeed, purpose-full seeking never ends…or at least in my mind it never ends. It is what keeps me in the game! Best and success to you and all you wish to continue to create with your life! Rick

  • Eileen Collins Reply

    Hi Rick,
    Turning 60 last year made a huge difference in my perspective on life. I agree with you on my made up meanings and appreciate all you have awaken in my spirit. I’m in the bigger game for real.

    Eileen Collins

    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Thank you Eileen for receiving this wisdom today. Nice to know we are not alone. Love to hear about your current Bigger Game….much success, Rick

  • Lisa M Baker Reply

    Good on ya mate – kudos 🙂

    Release those thoughts that don’t serve the future you are intentional to create

    Love this blog!


    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Thanks Lisa– I loved being with you last week. Such a joy to connect and co-create. More to come….. Sending you great vibes and success your way….. Best, Rick

  • Kari McGrath Reply

    Love this reminder. Hearing you say “it’s all made up” as a front of the room leader in Balance was one of the coach training moments that I come back to again and again. Grateful to have it so clearly stated one more time because I can often forget. Thanks much.

  • Suparna Reply

    HI Rick, what a great perspective, it really hits home for me today. It makes me think that until now I was not ready for x, y, z. However from now I will be and it goes on. I dont have to have THE answer right this minute. What a relief! Thank you and lots of love, Suparna

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