02/10/2011 09:14 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

You Can Create Your Own Happiness

What if there was one principle about human feelings that would enable you to control your own experience of life?

Well, there is, and here is the principle: The meaning you give to what happens to you totally determines your reaction to what happens to you. One meaning can lead to upset and suffering; another meaning of the same event can lead to excitement, challenge, and happiness.

Take a moment and think about this... Because events in the world have no inherent meaning, when you give meaning to events it seems as if your meaning (how the event is occurring to you) is what is actually happening. In fact, however, your occurring exists only in your mind.

This very important principle is relevant in two ways:

1) Our meaning creates our beliefs.

First, 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 do as a child; "relationships are difficult" is the meaning we have given to our parents arguing all the time or to our first couple of unpleasant relationships; "life is difficult" is the meaning we have given to difficult childhood experiences where we and our family struggled a lot; etc.

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.

2) Our meaning determines how reality occurs to us.

Second, the meaning we give events determines how they occur for us at the moment. One meaning can lead to a positive occurring; another meaning can lead to a negative occurring. Unfortunately, most of the time most of us never distinguish between what is actually happening and the meaning we are giving what is happening.

For example, your boss asks you a question. If you give it the meaning that your boss is dissatisfied with you, you likely will feel anxious or angry. If you give the same question the meaning that your boss is just trying to get some information, you will feel calm and provide the information.

Another example: Your spouse asks you to do something. If you give it the meaning that he is asking because he doesn't trust you to do it on your own, you will be angry or upset. If you give it the meaning that she is just telling you what she wants, then you probably will feel nothing at all.

Meanings that turn into beliefs are generalizations about ourselves, people, and life that stay with us forever, unless we eliminate them. Meanings that determine how an event occurs for us disappear as soon as we stop thinking about the event.

When people eliminate all the beliefs that cause a given behavioral or emotional problem, the problem disappears. People who have done this have reported profound changes in their lives. And yet the changes reported by people who have learned how to dissolve their negative experiences and be left either with just the unvarnished facts or a positive occurring are even more profound.

Try it and see for yourself.


If you haven't yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to, where you can eliminate one limiting belief free.

Copyright ©2011 Morty Lefkoe