Meaning and Memory
During all moments of consciousness our brains make sense and meaning of the world. When you experience something and successfully consolidate this experience into memory, you don’t just engage in the mindless function of capturing sensory information like a video camera captures sight and sound for exact playback. You add meaning to the experience.
When you remember something, you do not replay the memory like replaying a movie or television show, because our brains do not capture information in this fashion. We literally reconstruct or recreate the memory and the meaning of the original experience out of the flotsom and jetsom of our associative, highly connected brain. Making sense and meaning are automatic properties of our everyday mental activities. When you remember something, you remember its meaning.
A leader makes a categorical communication mistake if he or she trivializes this powerful, natural associative functioning of the brain. The brain is obsessed with making sense and meaning. And if leaders want to inspire conviction, align activity, mobilize action, and recognize achievement they must first help others create meaning.