Interpretation (quotes)


Interpretation is the meaning we assign to something


Our happiness and unhappiness is determined by how we interpret events


There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so

  • There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare
  • Whether the events in our life are good or bad, greatly depends on the way we perceive them. Michel de Montaigne
  • There is no good news or bad news, only news. Taoism saying
  • The relish of good and evil depends in a great measure upon the opinion we have of them. Michel Eyquem de Michel de Montaigne
  • We speak about what the Buddhists have always called ‘emptiness.’ We see, clearly, that nothing that ever happens to us is a good thing or a bad thing from its own side, because—if it were—then everyone else would experience it that way as well.  Geshe Michael Roach
  • There is such dissociation between what the eyes see and what the mind envisions. The final thought is just a matter of interpretation, coloured by our experiences. Anirban Bose

Most of our happiness and unhappiness is not determined by events in our life but how we interpret and feel about them

  • I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life, than on the nature of those events themselves. Alexander Von Humboldt
  • Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them. Leo Tolstoy
  • The happiness of this life depends less on what befalls you than the way in which you take it. Elbert Hubbard
  • The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. Eckhart Tolle
  • The happiness you are seeking is not to be found in the flow of life, but in your attitude toward whatever life brings. Ramesh S. Balsekar
  • Suffering doesn’t come from the fact; it comes from the meaning we assign to the fact. Tony Robbins
  • Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes a difference.  Virginia Satir
  • Make a game of finding something positive in every situation. Ninety-five percent of your emotions are determined by how you interpret events to yourself. Brian Tracy
  • HappinessUnhappiness

The same can be said for any stress and anxiety that we experience

  • Although many situations and encounters can be distressing or anxiety- producing, it is important to reemphasize that the way we interpret these events or situations is the crux of the problem. What we tell ourselves about the event, about ourselves, and about the other person or people involved is far more crucial in determining our feelings and our state of mind than the event itself. Robert W. Firestone
  • How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish. Catherine Pulsifer
  • We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves. Francis J. Braceland
  • StressAnxiety

It’s not what happens to you in life that really counts but how you feel about it

  • It is not what happens to you that matters, it is how you feel about it that does. Shannon L. Alder
  • It is what you think of this situation that governs you and not the situation itself. Ervin Seal
  • Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it. Irving Berlin
  • It’s not the situation … It’s your reaction to the situation. Robert Conklin
  • It makes little difference what is actually happening, it’s how you, personally, take it that really counts! Denis Waitley
  • What’s happening is merely what’s happening. How you feel about it is another matter. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Perception is real even when it is not reality. Edward de Bono
  • Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. What you see reflects your thinking. And your thinking but reflects your choice of what you want to see.  A Course in Miracles

The way you look at things will greatly influence your experience of life

  • Not people or events, but the beholding mind, is the sovereign agent in all human experience. See this until it becomes an absolute with you, and then you will have power—you will not give your power away to people and events and things. Ervin Seale
  • The way to reduce the pain which you associate with earthly experiences and events—both yours and those of others—is to change the way you behold them. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Where would I possibly find enough leather with which to cover the surface of the earth? Yet wearing leather just on the soles of my shoes Is equivalent to covering the earth with it. Shantideva
  • Nothing external to you has any power over you.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you look for – be it the positive or negative – is what you will see

  • What we see is mainly what we look for.
  • How you perceive creates what you believe to be true. You see what you are looking for. Story Waters
  • What we see depends mainly on what we look for. John Lubbock
  • It’s not what you look at that matters… it’s what you see. Henry David Thoreau
  • The truth is, we see in life what we want to see. If you search for ugliness, you’ll find plenty of it. If you want to find fault with other people, your career, or the world in general, you’ll certainly be able to do so. But the opposite is also true. If you look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, you can train yourself to see it. Richard Carlson
  • People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for. Harper Lee

When you change the way you choose to look at things, the things you look at change

  • Things don’t change, only the way you look at them. Carlos Castaneda
  • When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Wayne Dyer
  • Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it. Steve Maraboli

Life becomes so much easier if you choose to look at it in a loving, positive light

  • Love life and life will love you back. Arthur Rubinstein
  • If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us. Daisaku Ikeda
  • Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.  Peace Pilgrim
  • The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Oprah Winfrey
  • Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us. John Mitchell
  • PositivityCheerfulness

How we interpret events is a choice


How you perceive an event is something you can consciously choose

  • If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. Marcus Aurelius
  • By bringing about a change in our outlook toward things and events, all phenomena can become sources of happiness. The Dalai Lama
  • As you inquire into issues and turn judgments around, you come to see that every perceived problem appearing ‘out there’ is really nothing more than a misperception within your own thinking. Byron Katie
  • Seek not to change the world but choose to change your mind about the world. What you see reflects your thinking. And your thinking but reflects your choice of what you want to see. A Course in Miracles
  • You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Maya Angelou
  • PerceptionChoice

It is we who assign the meaning to the events that happen in our lives

  • The meaning that you give an event is the event. Deepak Chopra
  • I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me. A Course in Miracles
  • Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be. Steve Maraboli
  • The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • You will find meaning in life only if you create it. It is a poetry to be composed. It is a song to be sung.  It is a dance to be danced…  Osho
  • It is not the experiences of your life that determine your outcome. It is the meaning you attach to each experience. Jim Hartness
  • Meaning

Consciously choose a meaning that empowers you

  • It’s all invented anyway, so we might as well invent a story or a framework of meaning that enhances our quality of life and the life of those around us. Roz & Ben Zander
  • Life is determined by how we interpret things so… we might as well choose the most empowering interpretation. Brian Johnson
  • Here is an interesting exercise to help you become more aware of how you assign meaning. Whenever you feel unhappy or distressed, ask yourself what meaning you’ve placed on what seems to be causing your suffering. Consider what other meanings you could give this situation that would allow you to be happy… The meanings you give to things have consequences, so choose wisely. Bill Harris
  • Saying yes means getting up and acting on your belief that you can create meaning and purpose in whatever life hands you. Susan Jeffers
  • If you can find a way to make sense of adversity and draw constructive lessons from it, you can benefit, too. Jonathan Haidt
  • Once we see that everything is empty, we can choose to see the “hidden potential” in it—the “highest nature that a thing can have.” That’s a super powerful place to be. Brian Johnson