I have always liked The Sunset Tree by The Mountain Goats. Until today, I just thought it was nice, pleasant music. Mainly, it just passed me by though the song Pale Green Things made it onto my ipod shuffle once, as it was nice and relaxing to run to.
Thing is, I read the inside sleeve today, and then read the lyrics on the internet.
Funny how that transforms everything. It's now on a loop on my CD player. Suddenly electrifying.
As Ben Zander understands - it's meaning that changes everything. Our emotional connection with stimuli depends on the meaning of them to our lives. This is about comprehension in context - we are natural meaning makers. And yet, when it comes to work, so many of us are happy with work that has no meaning and live with the rising discomfort that accompanies it.
Experiences mean nothing without us understanding our role in them. Sure, it might be pleasant but it won't be meaningful. I'll never listen to The Sunset Tree in the same way again because it's meaningul to me now. But in the same way no one should settle for work that has no meaning, or it is life itself that will pass them by.