Giving meaning to experiences

I bought a frame two days ago, for my latest certificate. And being a guy, would I buy the correct size frame? No! So my certificate is in this too big frame.

Which brought to mind another framing scenario. Some years ago, I had this software package for my PC. If you looked at every school fete or announcement, you would know that almost every one with a PC had this software. Printshop! You could make cards, banners and posters with this software. Imagine printing a banner on a dot matrix printer. It took forever.

We used to enjoy making posters and cards. And a poster was never complete without the border. You could frame your message to your heart’s delight with crawling ants, little cars, roses and many more. Something I learnt playing around with this was that with a different frame, you had a different message. Some frames just didn’t work. How can my sister take my ‘Danger’ poster seriously if it has little flowers around the edges?

The same thing happens in our daily lives as well. Let me explain.

An experience is nothing more than an experience. However, you give meaning to every experience as it happens. Giving meaning to an experience is unique to you. Agreed there are some instances where a meaning is universal. By giving an experience meaning, you give it a frame. In other words, you will see the experience in a certain way.

Now how about reframing it. Although you have given meaning to an experience, what will happen if you change the way you see it? Even if it is only for a couple of minutes! A frame will change the picture. You can do the same. Instead of looking at an experience from one side, turn it around, Give it a new frame. Open an Excel spreadsheet. Take one cell and type anything into it. Now play around with the borders. Does it still look the same? Same text, different view.

As I mentioned the poster with the little flowers around it, think of a time when you got upset with your boss, for criticising you. Look at the picture. Put a flowery frame around your picture. Is it still menacing?

You have the power to change how you see experiences. You are the one giving meaning to it. If you are not happy with the current meaning, then change it.

Something I learnt from a photographer some time ago. If you can’t take a decent picture, just make it orange. Make it warm

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