I generally know when I’m about to have a breakthrough, when there is a new process or way of understanding something that is on the verge of taking shape. I have glimpses of ideas and I have a sense of connections that I can’t quite put my finger on.  But I know if I stay with it, something new and useful ultimately will take shape.

That’s where I am now.  I think I’m about to come up with something very useful, and I’m not sure what it is yet.  So I thought I would share with you some ideas I currently have swirling around in my mind and keep updating you as the ideas develop.  I think I will end up with something that explains why our lives turn out as they do (apart from the influence of beliefs and conditionings)…. and how we can better influence how our lives turn out.

This “stirring” in my mind started a few weeks ago when I came across a book my wife Shelly was reading for a course she was taking:  The Three Laws of Performance, by Steven Zaffron and Dave Logan (Jossey-Bass, 2009). Here are a few of the passages that particularly intrigued me.

“Each person assumes the way things occur for him or her is how they are occurring for another.  But situations occur differently for each person.”

“So what exactly does occur mean?  We mean something beyond perception and subjective experience.  We mean the reality that arises within and from your perspective on the situation.  In fact, your perspective is itself part of the way in which the world occurs for you. ‘How a situation occurs’ includes your view of the past (why things are the way they are) and the future (where all this is going).”

“When people relate to each other as if each is dealing with the same set of facts, they have fallen into the reality illusion.  To see the reality illusion at work, think of a person you aren’t happy with at the moment—perhaps someone you’ve been resenting for years.  In your own mind, think of words that describe that person.

“You might say, ‘self-centered,’ ‘doesn’t listen,’ ‘opinionated,’ and ‘irrational.’  You might be willing to swear on a stack of bibles that those words are accurate.  But notice that you’ve described how the person occurs to you.”

“See the reality illusion at work, in you and people around you.  Almost without exception, people don’t notice that all they are aware of is how situations occur to them.  They talk, and act, as if they see things as they really are.”

“None of us see things as they are.  We see things as they occur to us.” (Emphasis added.)

My first reaction after reading this material was that “how things occur” is nothing more than a function of our existing beliefs.  We see/create our reality through the filter of our own beliefs. But the more I thought about it and the more I observed how things occur for me, the more I realized that this phenomenon is the result of more than beliefs. But what else causes it?  I’m not sure yet.  That’s what I’ve been pondering the past few days.  I think, however, that the answer could explain a question I’ve had for years.

I’ve known for 25 years that you can change any behavior or emotion by eliminating the beliefs and conditionings (including senses and expectations) that cause the old behavior and emotion.

But this is not sufficient to change your reality, such as making more money or finding the romantic relationship of your dreams.  Merely eliminating the barriers (beliefs) to those things showing up isn’t sufficient to actually have something show up in reality.  Maybe how things occur for us would enable us to do that.

In the past I’ve investigated the Law of Attraction (as espoused by Seth, Abraham, The Secret, and others), Ernest Holmes’ Science of Mind, and quantum physics, but I don’t think any of these is sufficient to explain what it takes to have events in reality consistently show up in a particular way for you.

It is important to remember that beliefs are the meaning we give meaningless events in the world. Sometimes these meanings are generalizations and we conclude that I am …, people are …, and life is ….  Other times we don’t generalize, we just say that I just did something wrong, or what he did was rude, or today has been a difficult day.  All three of these are meanings/beliefs, but they are “narrow” meanings that are unlikely to affect us in most situations later in life.

How things occur for us at any given moment is a function of both types of beliefs.  But what else is involved?

How things occur for us ultimately seems to be a function of the meaning we are giving any particular person or situation at the moment. Moreover, we seem to be predisposed to create a given meaning by all of our prior beliefs and conditionings.  However, those prior meanings don’t cause the new meaning, they only predispose us.  And by being conscious of the meaning we are assigning at any given moment, we might be able to change it despite old beliefs.

I noticed last week that recently I experienced being overwhelmed with things to do. No matter how much I did there was always more to do.  There never seemed to be time to rest.  That situation occurred for me as a problem.  Because I had started thinking about the phenomenon of occurring, I tried to shift how these circumstances occurred to me, from negative to positive: all the things I have to do are opportunities.  Aren’t I lucky to have so many great possibilities open to me?  I don’t have to take advantage of all of them if I don’t have time.  But I’m fortunate to have all of them and to be able to create new opportunities daily. It worked: My circumstances started occurring to ne differently.

How this situation originally occurred for me seems to be largely the result of my beliefs, but the shift did not require me to eliminate beliefs, only to be conscious of the old way and consciously choose a new way.

It might be, however, that I would not be able to sustain the new occurring if I had beliefs that precluded it, such as Life in difficult or Nothing ever turns out for me.

Try to create a new occurring for yourself.  Look at how a specific person or situation “occurs for you.”  Describe it in as much detail as you can.  Notice that you interact with the person or situation as if how it occurs for you is the truth?  Can you also see that how the person or situation occurs is a function of your beliefs and conditionings?  Now try to create an alternative way for it to occur for you. Can you do it?

I intend to keep noticing how things occur for me and see if I can trace the source of that experience.  I also will see if I can shift my “occurring” and if I can’t, why I can’t.  I also will see if the new occurring lasts, in other words, does it exist only at the moment I create it, with the old one “re-occurring” the next time that person or situation shows up, or does the new one I created continue to occur for me?

I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks as I pursue this investigation.  Please write your comments and questions in the blog below.  I’m really interested in what you think about this phenomenon and this blog post describing my journey.  I’m sure your comments on how things occur for you will help me in my quest.

If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to htp://www.recreateyourlife.com/free where you can eliminate one limiting belief free.

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Copyright © 2009 Morty Lefkoe

By Published On: Tuesday, December 15, 2009Categories: Occurring30 CommentsTags: , , , , ,


  1. Wayne December 2, 2011 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Hi Morty!
    I think and maybe I am of course here, but that as a child we need our ego to protect us. So we give these childhood events meanings that seem to be right at the time. This carry’s on even in adulthood and unless we become highly aware that we are not our beliefs and that we are the creator of our beliefs. We still let the lies influence us as adults, but once we are aware that these meanings are just a truth and not the truth. The beliefs we have formed are dead (meaningless) and once we come to this higher understanding all those old beliefs conditioning and feelings have no hold of us anymore. As we experience the creator side to us we are open new developments that are not coming from us but from a higher source. We are open to new ideas and breakthroughs not on the same level as the ego.



    • Morty Lefkoe December 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Wayne,

      Thanks for taking the time to post.

      One subtle point: Realizing we are the creator and that all our beliefs are just the meaning we gave to meaningless events does not eliminate any of the beliefs. Each belief still has to be handled separately, one at a time.


  2. Jodi Traver March 30, 2010 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Thanks for a beautiful, well-timed reminder of the power of my mind!

    • admin March 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Jodi,

      Glad this post was useful. You actually can change your occurring at any time, thereby changing your thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

      Regards, Morty

  3. Arlo R. Hansen February 21, 2010 at 12:08 am - Reply

    I once asked my late, older, sister, Vivian L. Heeschen, who made her living as a Spiritial Dream Interperter, “How can I know what are the beliefs, that I hold to the conviction level?”
    “Look around you,” she answered, “What is manifisting for you as your reality, are the beliefs you hold to the conviction level.”
    Simple, but so obvious, most miss it because it’s like “…what you’re looking for, you’re looking with!”
    Science, as far as I know, has yet to measure the “speed of thoughts.” They come fast for me. Many I dismiss, without pondering, but to know, that my reality is a demonstration of the thoughts I am holding to the conviction level, gives me the freedom to change what I don’t like, to whatever I might like!
    What’s “happening,” for me, is always up to me. That is why I coined my email name above…to remind me that this is ALWAYS so!

  4. Lnsky December 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm - Reply


    First, thanks for your method Morty, it did recreate my life in many ways. At least when it comes to the “bad” beliefs. However, I do believe that my old limiting beliefs have prevented me from creating many god positive “what should happen” beliefs. So I believe that when things do not occur as we want them to do it is because a lack of “what should happen in this situation” beliefs. Maybe its possible to use a version your method to create these kind of beliefs? Or do you think that a missing limiting beliefs equals a positive one?

  5. lea December 20, 2009 at 2:00 am - Reply

    It is very interesting what you say “None of us see things as they are. We see things as they occur to us.” Homeopathy deals with that, it is called “vital sensation” we will always see things in our unique way. Homeopathic remedies will help us leave this delusive way of looking at things that occur to us. You can read stuff about it in http://hmp.rajansankaran.com/

  6. Morty Lefkoe December 19, 2009 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Hi Win,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    I’d like to make a distinction that might clarify a apparent conflict between our positions: It is one thing to make whatever happens “okay just the way it is.” You aren’t trying to change the circumstances; you are having it “occur” for you in a way that you experience “okay.” That is not the same as noticing that there are things in the world that you would like to change in the future (that’s the “game of life”) and doing what you can to produce a change — without being attached to the outcome.

    That is how the Dali Lama deals with freedom for Tibet. He makes the way things are today “Okay in his universe” and he works tirelessly to change the current situation.

    This appears to be a contradiction, but I think getting this distinction is a crucial aspect of living a transformed life.

    My goal is to make our work available to as many people as possible, to free them from the self-imposed limitations they have placed on themselves. When I succeed I’ve very happy. When I don’t I look to see what I could do differently next time. I prefer one outcome to another, but I’m not run by the outcome.

    Happy Holidays, Morty

  7. Margaret Ida December 19, 2009 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I appreciate your sharing before you have it ‘all figured out’. I think the key to the breakthrough is this item you quoted: “Each person assumes the way things occur for him or her is how they are occurring for another. But situations occur differently for each person.”
    However, the key is not so much the word ‘occur’ as the phrase ‘differently for each person.’
    The proliferation of self-help programs, all of which have multiple testimonials of how this particular one worked when all others had failed, is a testimony to this. It has been my observation that each program uses a somewhat different presentation , perspective, assumption, picture, etc. to address the same underlying conditions that people are trying to deal with. The trick is to find one or more that resonate(s) with your individuality.
    My thought is that, as a health/life coach, I can help my clients better as I become familiar with more different programs and ways for things to ‘occur’ to a client. That way I can help my clients find the approach that works for their individual situation.
    Keep thinking out loud – it’s great for all of us to do!
    Margaret Ida

  8. Robert Litjens December 18, 2009 at 2:59 am - Reply

    1. “Wanting what you get, is getting what you really want”.

    That to me is a bit like saying… “Thank you very much X for slamming me over the head with that iron bar.. because I am really ‘wanting’ that.

    Yes it sounds cute but I see it as a cop out… I don’t see it as much being beyond being a cow in the meadow.

    I prefer to go for the view that we may NOT be able to control the gale force winds.. BUT we DON’T have to want it (like you suggest)… when its the JOB of the human to LEARN to BEST adjust the sails.

    So although I like the thought of yelling at life to HIT ME AGAIN AGAIN AND AGAIN with that iron bar… I WANT it… In hindsight I think its rater rediculous when we have the option of learning how to PUT a HELMET on our heads to disappear the impact.

    Nooo… Sorry… Nice when you say it quickly.. but odd when you hover over it briefly.. SO I give that one a thumbs down today.. sorry

  9. charles sooter December 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Marty, you are on to something when you assert that simply changing beliefs, although a necessary precondition, is insufficient to becoming a highly functioning person. As negative and destructive beliefs are substituted for their positive and nurturing equivalent, these beliefs need to be networked into a cohesive, integrated, and life-enhancing philosophy. Otherwise, the potential positivism inherent in any situation is not always triggered just because one now has a few positive beliefs. Instead, the highly functioning individual has trained themself to think consciously in opportunistic ways to turn whatever happens to them, whether it is good, bad, or neutral, into something positive for themselves and others. Changing beliefs is only the first step; the next step is learning how to handle life with an as yet ill-defined higher-level of consciousness.

  10. Alex Dail December 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Morty,

    One generality I have been fascinated with since youth is how few individuals there are who seem to have highly productive lives. The highly productive are able to get a lot done in a relatively short period of time; whether it is starting business(es), promoting a cause, or simply living a life that brings them in touch with cultures and philosophies. In short, what they put their minds to they are able to achieve in spades. A portion of these appear to always be this way, others seem to be pushed into it through a cataclysmic (life changing) event, others seem to be ultra productive for awhile and then drift towards a norm. Then there are people who try hard, but are just spinning their wheels. Lastly, their are people who are the norm. That is, they are content to work 9-5, watch t.v., read a trash novel, do a little yard work etc. and repeat.

    I think being grateful for what we have is important – especially to happiness. Yet, I think we lose when we become content with being less than our potential. The trick it seems is to find a means to coalesce potential with opportunity so the end result is super productivity. I may be just talking through my hat but people who are grateful and who are also able to fully express a potential they are passionate about appear to have the fullest most meaningful lives. Good luck in your pursuit.

  11. Danielle Grigsby December 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Hello Morty,
    I really appreciate your process of not knowing and discovering and I also really appreciate the Lefkoe method. I am very interested in your question of the meaning of occur. I happened to look it up in the dictionary and it comes from the Latin “ob+ currere” which means to run. It means to EXIST . It means to HAPPEN. The etymologies of the word “current” are various – to run, to hurry, hastening to aid, vehicle, wise, quick. The definitions are FLUENT, ACCUSTOMED, PREVAILING, FLOW, FLUX, PITCH, TILT, TREND, TENOR, TONE, TENDENCY. My analysis of occurence leads me to the same conclusion which is that
    ” occur” defines a current of frequency or energetic vibration. Perhaps woven through a happening or an event are myriad currents of frequencies as varied as the persons interacting or serving as catalysts of the occurence somewhat like a symphony. And somewhere along the continuum of occurence any one of the actors could choose to stay on the same current, or go to another level of wave higher or lower, based on the complex variables of their state or internal landscape. Wherever we are is what the event will mean for us- no more , no less. If I happen to be in a pit that is what the occurance will mean for me. If you happen to be in a beautiful meadow that is what the event will mean for you. If The other person on the top of the mountain that is what the event will mean for them. But the other side of this is the energetic vibration you are emitting and how you magnetize miracles or mistakes by what your thoughts are. …thoughts of an inveterate bookish type…Much love, Danielle.

  12. Henry December 17, 2009 at 11:34 am - Reply

    This seems to be in line with the thinking of Steve Pavlina, and such methods as the Self-Talk Solution (Shad Helmstetter). Something to look into if these ideas intrigue you.

  13. salim December 17, 2009 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Hi Morty,UR reflection for the answer for this belief/question will bring lot of solution to many of the problems/belief which people have waiting for UR answer. Salim

  14. Diana Endresen December 17, 2009 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Hi Morty,
    Thank you for your work! Here are some things I’ve recently been musing about; perhaps something will click for you: Where are you allowing for our memories influencing current expectations, or is that included in the beliefs and conditioning model? What about what I call the “automatic pilot” state, you know, where we have that groove worn into our brains from umteen million interations of a “fact” such that it just seems to materialize automatically; shoes get tied quickly, we expect the same when we roll out of bed in the AM, that kind of thing. (Here’s another thought that is rolling around in my head: what if we are actually “addicted” to our dysfunctional bits?) What if an “occurrence” is time-related, in other words, it unfolds for us in a certain order and time-frame because that feels best for us or is how we learned it or whatever? What if it is the unfoldment of the occurrence that is our goal instead of the actual occcurrence or event, which might actually be incidental?

  15. David Harley December 17, 2009 at 10:05 am - Reply

    I enjoy your creative process, Morty. I look at the world of experience from this stance: that beliefs fit into a perceptional screen (containing thousands of beliefs) that in turn serves an organizing schema (often of opposites) that function to create a style of life (consistent behavior and attitude) that in turn serve to meet a chosen overriding goal/purpose that operates to direct the individual in creating a way of experiencing reality/occurences. Of course, this goal for the mature and healthy individual is more often at least partially in awareness yet for the immature, struggling individual is often operating out of awareness surrounded not only with convenient fictions/beliefs but also counter fictions that serve to hide the operational goal/purpose both from him/herself but also others. This goal is compensatory in purpose (for real or imagined lack). Beliefs and perception if understood alone are confusing and difficult to place into a gestalt of one’s life, however, once seen in the context of the use of or function for fulfilling one’s goals, conscious or unconscious, make more sense and bring order and clarity into what appears to be contradictions and confusion. Once the purpose or use of beliefs is understood, might this assist us in understanding the occurences in our lives both what we create or bring into our lives as well as those which seem to fall into our lives willy-nilly?

  16. Kay December 17, 2009 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Interesting. I think you nailed it when you said that being conscious, noticing it, then wanting to change it is the key.

    A good friend of mine at work and I regularly ponder similar things. We started with employee management and motivation techniques which morphed into behavioral observation and then delving into Abraham, quantum physics, LOA, etc. We regularly observe/analyze our management’s and employee’s behavior and decisions (my reality is that we find their actions stupid and incompetent – my job is a Dilbert cartoon). It seems I consistently see what I expect to see based on my previous conclusions about things. And I like many of my conclusions (they’re comfortable), so there’s no motivation to change them. I have the same observation about politics and the radicalized opinions we see now days (THOSE people are crazy, not me!).

    We have a coworker who “sees” events 180 degrees out from the rest of us. (We’ve been ‘psychoanalyzing’ her for years.) Why? She’s extremely intelligent, articulate, and has two masters degrees. But her interpretation of events (such as a meeting) is completely different than the rest of us. We decided that she has beliefs and/or filters that “management is bad, workers are good” and puts that kind of a spin on things. She was very poor and extremely religious as a child and had to struggle to get where she is now (a six figure job). A few years ago I read a book, “The DaVinci Method” by Garret LoPorto, which seemed to explain a lot of her behavior. He says that most people stay comfortable by functioning at a consistent but low level and ramping up only when necessary, but a few others (the DaVincis) run at full throttle all the time. My coworker runs at full throttle which frustrates everybody else who might get in the way. She has no clue because that’s just her reality.

    I have made a conscious effort over the years to “notice” things. But I still completely miss a lot of obvious things across the board (events, objects, nuance of meaning, etc.). It sounds silly but I try to notice things like car license plates, the texture of the sidewalk, etc when I’m not doing something else to try to exercise my brain. Since doing your beliefs program, more and more I think about how I’m using my existing beliefs and prior conditioning to make judgments or “see” things from a specific perspective. Noticing that has helped me to notice alternatives and question my conclusions. This is good. This has definitely helped to change my reality.

    Also, I have had a lot of success with using my observations to persuade & manipulate others. It’s easy, I can anticipate their logical behavior based on their apparent beliefs. I’ve also noticed that people from different cultures seem to interpret events differently. For example, I’ve had a hard time staying motivated to get my small home business going but I have a friend who fled Vietnam at age 13 who has started many businesses and always has something going. Growing up fat, dumb, and content in the US, I never had to struggle for anything (we were middle class) but he understands adversity and sees the opportunity and doesn’t hesitate to jump in, no psychoanalyzing needed.

    Several years ago, I listened to an audio program by Bill Harris of Centerpointe (the “Map of Reality,” “Accelerated Change Maximizer,” etc) which seems to be along these same lines – noticing your beliefs and interpretation of reality enables you to change it. I subsequently encountered these same ideas in other, earlier work. What makes the Lefkoe Beliefs process different, and successful for me, is that you have shown us how to actually CHANGE those beliefs. So thanks for that.

    I hope this is helpful and not too much blah blah blah!

  17. Brian Zvonko December 17, 2009 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Interacting with people in work environment largly involves personal believe and believe who we are interacting with. If there is a way for both to realize it is our believe that determens the way we act than we would easily overcome obstacles. Assuming that other people would not work on eliminating their believes the question that is coming in my mind is as do we need to act according other persons believe in order to overcome obstacles?! It would be acting with the purpose to reach the goal and not within common sense. Do we need to create ilusion for others to be right in their believes?!

  18. Jose Velez December 17, 2009 at 8:09 am - Reply

    pointing out our own “occurrences” as you describe them is to me very clear; that we create our own occurrances as a consequence of our beliefs and conditionings to a big extent. One missing link here is that we should mention that other peoples beliefs come together with ours to influence that occurrance. when both involved parties beliefs are healthy, the healthier the outcome (occurrance) will be. turning things around is still greatly an individual undertaking as we cannot control what other will do, only influence them. I believe in your method to bring clarity to our minds by replacing “lies” in our subconcious with truths. The Truth lights the way to healthy decision making and consequent peace of mind. The biggest challange is still clearing our minds of childhood garbage!

  19. Tim December 17, 2009 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Maybe what’s occuring to you is to find a way to let something bigger/higher/divine come through instead of us just relying on our own self created meanings/interpretations/beliefs etc. That would be very intertesting. So maybe this is the next step on the “witness” . E Tolle once talked of a bird doest sit and think if it should fly or not, It allows something higher (nature, instint, spirit,) to see through its eyes as well and be directed by it. We desperately need this as a human race. :-)

  20. admin December 17, 2009 at 6:52 am - Reply


    Please see my blog post in which I describe the many differences between The Lefkoe Method an CBT.


    Regards, Morty

  21. wim December 17, 2009 at 4:33 am - Reply

    In my opinion Morty, you seem to be wanting to change the way things are “occuring” to you. You (still) seem to be wanting to be in control.

    The happiest people on the planet are those who understand that…

    1. “Wanting what you get, is getting what you really want”. It is our attempt to control, our fear to have no control over our own life that stands in the way of feeling in control.” In my opinion, we only feel really in control of our life/experience/occurence, when we have totally given up controling our life.” Acting/attempting/ reaching for goals without attachment to the outcome is all we need.

    2. Life is all about receiving love (welcoming, embracing) and giving love (serving). We are only channeling this love and life.

    Once we start cultivating our feelings of “GRATITUDE” for all we are and have, for all the love, life, and people that surround us, once we are saturated with the love we receive(d), once we are lost in counting our BLESSINGS…. we bubble over with that same love. And we, as mere channels of love, can decide where to direct that love. Or at least, we can “ACT AS IF” we can decide where to direct the love that is passing through us. It doesn’t matter if that is true or not… But the strategy of “ACTING AS IF WE CAN DECIDE”, brings us the most joy, fun… in our life. (It worked for me too:-).

    3. “We are on stage”. Just “imagine” we are all playing our life “on stage”. A stage that is real (because we can really hurt others or ourselves)… However, most of us are simply lost in their roles (of angry, depressed, happy, guilty, or destructive, self-made, arrogant people). We often identify ourselves with the roles we play. It is our task to wake up the sleepy ones. And have them understand and connect with what they really are: “soul, love, life, light, experience, awareness…”, whatever we name it.

    If I lose myself in my role, please wake me up as well.

  22. tom December 17, 2009 at 3:56 am - Reply

    As I see it you are reinventing the wheel – What you describe in blog is CBT. I would also see your method as CBT with cause and effect added – many therapists including many cbt therapists do this all the time
    Is my perception incorrect

    • admin March 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm - Reply

      I am not a CBT therapist, but many who are and who know our work say there is a big difference. For example, in CBT you have to constantly work on changing your thinking as thoughts and feelings arise in daily life. When you eliminate a belief in just a few minutes in a session, the thoughts and feelings change automatically and there is nothing more you need to do.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Regards, Morty

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