Day 4: #Nando25 Challenge: The Meanings We Attach to Life Situations

The #Nando25 Challenge Idea: We add meaning to life situations–then, sadly, believe they are true.

The Lesson: I’d like for you to stop adding so much meaning to the things happening around you. Or at least be aware that you’re doing that. Humans are the only species that do that–and there’s an up side and down side. Because we are all self-proclaimed fortunetellers & psychics we attach meaning to everything in our lives–and it’s driven by YOUR past.


Example #1: If you experienced a life event at the age of 5 where you reached out and petted a cute puppy–and the puppy almost ripped your head off, you might–to this day, be terrified of dogs. I dated a Pakistani who was 6 feet 2 inches tall, muscular, sexy dark skin and when we’d go out together I felt good, I felt loved, and I felt protected–unless there was a dog around. I didn’t pick up on his fear of dogs at first, I just thought he always new shortcuts to the places we were headed to. But seeing fear in someone’s eyes when a 3 lbs chihuahua is happily walking towards you is eventually hard to miss.

Meaning attached to dogs: It will bite & rip me to shreds (yes, even a ribbon-wearing Yorkie)

Example #2: You grew up with the people around you working jobs they didn’t feel passionate about. So the meaning you have attached to work is, “It’s a job, I get paid, end of story.” But imagine if everyone in your circle felt so passionate about the job they had, they felt excitement, pride & drive towards it. How would that change the industry you’re currently in? How would it feel to be at lunch with 6 people who simply adored what they do while you shrank in your seat not wanting to share details about your career experience? What meaning have you attached to your career? What’s the distinct language you’re using when it comes to you job?

Example #3: Your last few relationships didn’t work out. The first was abusive. The second refused to come out of the closet and would make you hide n the bathroom when his family came over. And the third, well, you walked in on him having sex with one of your “so-called” friends. What kind of schmegegge goes through all of that? I did. And it was a rough ride. But I promise you-having grown up in a loving home, I knew what loved looked like and I never allowed my bad experiences change my meaning of love and so I searched onward. But here’s the kicker–there’s a difference between “knowing what love should be” and “acknowledging you deserve the love you want”.

Do you get that?

There’s a distinction on language there. I can “know” HOW to lose weight. I think we ALL do. But how many of us who want to lose weight are ACTUALLY losing weight? You know how, right? Then what gives?

Many of us know what a bad relationship is all about. We can teach a class on it. We can pick out the signs and point fingers. But those same people who can pick them out are also involved in them. And I used to be one of them. Even though the meaning I had towards relationships was that love was kind, love was caring, love was sharing the iPhone charger–I had given love a different meaning somewhere from when I left home and began to date. I had to re-shift.

this is your life's blackboard

And the reason that we will keep the same OLD meanings to things is because we haven’t made a clearing for any new meanings. ONE MORE TIME. And the reason that we will keep the same OLD meanings to things is because we haven’t made a clearing for any new meanings.

I want you to think about a large chalkboard and it’s filled up with meaning from your past, “I am wrong, I am stupid, I always mess things up, I am not lovable, I am hateful, I’m no good, I can’t love, Nobody can ever love me, I hurt people, I’m not boyfriend material, My wife left me and I’m a bad person, My kids don’t talk to me so I must be a horrible parent, I’m not that good at my job, My friends hate me, My fifth-grade class made fun of me, Youtube stalkers leave me negative comments on my videos, My blog doesn’t get any hits, my ideas are crap, I hate my body, My boss makes fun of me, All my boyfriends cheat on me, My girlfriends have all lied to me, I get played often”…..the list goes on and on and on and on. If that chalkboard is filled–with all these messages–and I ask you to start placing new messages–where are the going? No where. There is no space in your life’s chalkboard. You have filled it. So that’s why you can’t ADD new meaning to life’s situation–because your board is FULL.

And it’s full of crap you chose to fill it with–and the worst part is–YOU BELIEVE IT’S TRUE!

The solution is to make a clearing…EARASE some of those OLD meanings (especially the negative ones or the ones that keep you running SCAMS) and make a clearing for new ones. And because LIFE HAPPENS ONLY IN LANGUAGE–the new meanings you start adding to your life will be true. Remember, what you SAY will be TRUE because LIFE ONLY HAPPENS IN LANGUAGE. Imagine if you start saying, “I’m going to the gym today because that’s what healthy people do and I’m a healthy person.” Woah! Or, “Today I will sit down and write three blogs because that’s what a successful blogger does and I’m a successful blogger!”

Here is your new board. 

What NEW meanings will you create for yourself in these areas?




My phone


I was cheated on

Being gay


My parents



Being divorced

I’m unemployed

My stupid neighbor who always BANGS on my floor with her broom

Being Single


I cheated on someone


Being (insert race)




I just got fired


The Homework: In your #Nando25 Challenge journal identify meanings you have given 3 areas in your life that you will ERASE and re-write a new meaning to. Be very clear and use distinct + specific language. Once you have completed the assignment–either tweet me or leave a message on our #Nando25 private facebook page.

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