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Nothing means anything until you give it meaning.

If I were a psychologist, my specialty would definitely be Cognitive Psychology, which this quote from Steve Chandler pretty much sums up in just a few words. CP focuses on the way we process outside information.

When we apply faulty reasoning, invalid assumptions, and misconceptions to otherwise neutral events, we end up with “cognitive distortions.” Examples are “all-or-nothing” thinking, over-generalizations, and jumping to conclusions.

The best book I’ve found on the subject is Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by Dr. David D. Burns.

In Business:

When you’ve invested a lot of yourself into your business or profession, it’s easy to take any rejection as a personal rejection of you. “They’re not saying ‘no’ to my offer; they’re saying ‘no’ to me and anything I might ever have to offer.”

It’s important to see all the no’s for what they are: neutral events. Do not apply any additional meaning to them. Instead, learn from them, if you can, and move on. As Steve Chandler is also fond of saying, “The proper response to ‘no’ is ‘next!’”

In Life:

The quarterback throws a touchdown — half the stadium cheers and the other half boos. They all witnessed the exact same event, but it was the meaning they assigned to the event that dictated their reaction.

When you have an extreme reaction to any event, take a moment to ask yourself how much is due to the raw event itself and how much is due to the meaning you’re giving it.

So remember…

Nothing means anything until you give it meaning.

— Steve Chandler

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