Meaning

Meaning

Diminishing Significance

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, December 13 2023

There are times in your life when nothing can seem to be more important than that one thing in your life: that job you're applying for, the big game, or that test coming up. You can win championships, graduate from school, or make your first million dollars. Heck, you can get that bike you wanted more than anything for Christmas. No matter what...

Read More
Meaning

Be Happier by Committing to Something

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 9 2023

One of the most interesting ideas in positive psychology over the last couple of decades is the idea of “manufactured happiness”—that is, the idea that your brain makes yourself happier as a result of certain behaviors. Daniel Gilbert, who has done a lot of research on happiness and choice, conducted one study on this topic that assessed an...

Read More
Meaning

You Don’t Have to Save the World

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 26 2023

The most common cliché for people graduating from school is that they want to “change the world”. Of course, that is a very subjective statement since you change the world just by existing (because it’s different than if you didn’t exist) and there are plenty of ways to change everything—from the Pet Rock to travel to Mars—that can be seemingly...

Read More
Meaning

Misconceptions about Growth-Oriented Meaning

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 12 2023

The idea that the meaning of life can be so simple and elegant is a tough one to digest; there’s a reason why people say, “What is the meaning of life?” as a joke when someone asks them to bring up a topic for light conversation. But if it’s that simple, then why do people ponder it so deeply and frequently? Well, the answer brings up many...

Read More
Meaning

How Meaning Can Change

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 3 2023

One silly pet peeve of mine is how people start letters to people with, "Dear _____," at the top. Why do they do that? Because that's how they were taught to start letters. To them, it denotes the beginning of a letter where this is the person you are addressing. But, when you know the definition of the word "dear" in English, you know that it is...

Read More
Meaning

Scarcity and Meaning

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 26 2023

Most of us know that basic economics states that as supply falls for a good and demand stays high, the price will rise. This is because scarcity is what causes us to need to economize in the first place; if everything was unlimited, then we wouldn’t need to worry about production and consumption because everything would always be available. But...

Read More
Meaning

What You Need in a Meaning of Life Book

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 12 2023

There are a lot of books out there on the meaning of life and your existence in this universe. Some are focused on the religious or the spiritual, while others are focused on the philosophical or the ethical. Of course, there is only one that I know of that worked back from evolutionary biology and psychology to conclude the human drivers of...

Read More
Meaning

First, Seek to Understand

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 8 2023

Resolving conflicts has never been easy, but it feels like in a world where you can live in your own world that you never have to talk to someone who ever disagrees with you. Even debates are no longer really two people having a conversation to try to influence each other but rather each person talking to an audience to score points and "own" the...

Read More
Meaning

Finding Meaning Where Others Don’t

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 1 2023

When I was growing up, I cannot tell you how many times I heard the "be willing to go above and beyond in everything you do" speech around everything from school work to employment to athletics. The idea is that if you work just a little harder than your competition every day, you will eventually be much, much further in your progress. My most...

Read More
Meaning

Conflating Ethics and Meaning Can Create a False Sense of Progress

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 19 2022

Every well-adjusted person wants to be viewed as a good person. “Good” in this case means ethical. Everyone follows rules to live their lives optimally, and ethics are rules to follow when other people are involved to maximize your own growth while minimizing any harm done to anyone else in the process. But is that enough to find meaning and fulfil...

Read More
Next