Would you believe me if I told you that there was one principle about your feelings that would enable you to control your own experience of life?
Well, believe me, there is. You may have already heard about this in another form or guise or perhaps this is the first time you come across this.
The principle is simple:
In other words, happiness is an inside job. The way you interpret any given event or situation results in your experience of that very event or situation. One meaning can lead to feelings of being upset and suffering while another meaning of the same event can lead to excitement, challenge and happiness.
But how can this be?…
Take a moment and think about this…
Events in the world really have no inherent meaning, but when you give your own meaning/interpretation to events, your meaning (how the event is occurring to you) actually becomes your reality and thus what is truly happening. The truth is, however, that what is happening exists only in your mind.
This very important principle is relevant in two ways:
In other words, all of our beliefs about ourselves, others and life itself are nothing more than the meaning we have given to meaningless events.
“I’m not good enough” is the meaning we have given to parental criticism or dissatisfaction with what we did or didn’t do as a child.
“Relationships are difficult” is the meaning we have given to our parents arguing all the time or to our first experiences of unpleasant relationships.
“Life is difficult” is the meaning we have given to difficult childhood experiences where we and our family struggled a lot and so on…
So our anxiety, procrastination, concern with the opinion of others, lack of confidence, difficulties in relationships, stress, etc. are all primarily the result of beliefs – the meanings we gave earlier in our lives to meaningless events.
The meaning we give to events or situations determines how they occur for us at that moment. One meaning can lead to a positive outcome whilst another meaning can lead to a negative outcome of that very same event/situation. Unfortunately, most of us never distinguish between what is actually happening and the meaning we are giving to what is happening.
For example, your boss asks you a question. If you give this scenario the meaning that your boss is dissatisfied with you, you are likely to feel anxious or angry. If, on the other hand, you give the same question the meaning that your boss is just trying to get some information, you will feel calm and simply provide the information. It really is as simple as that.
Meanings that turn into beliefs are generalisations about ourselves, people and life that stay with us forever, unless, or until we eliminate them. So, remember, we are the ones who choose how we interpret any given situation.
We have the choice to create our own happiness simply by choosing meanings that are positive and based in the present moment.