Make it make sense

Yesterday evening, I had the chance to record a conversation with Mitch Wallis for his Heart On My Sleeve podcast. It was an awesome dialog and I can’t wait to share the episode when it drops.

One of the questions he asked has stayed on my mind. He brought up the process of sense-making, how our brains interpret information to create a whole picture out of a collection of parts. The technical term for the study and methods of interpretation is hermeneutics. He asked me why I thought it was such a satisfying mental process. We are always so pleased with ourselves when we make sense of something puzzling us.

I like this question on a number of levels. Cognitive processes are fascinating to me from an academic perspective. Personally, I recognize the way my brain works to figure out what is happening around me and inform how I act. To make sense of why making sense of something is such a good feeling is also a delightfully meta exercise.

As I’ve pondered it more, I have realized that understanding what we observe helps us to act in ways that maximize our well-being. For a long time I was so disengaged from living that I couldn’t actively participate in making sense of anything. Now I can. There is great satisfaction in being fully engaged with life.

That makes sense to me.

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