EPISODE 85: “You’re Not a Prisoner Of Your Circumstances, You’re a Prisoner Of Your Interpretations”
Ponder the headline, when you fully come to know the headline your life will change for the better.
So many people stay trapped in their circumstances for a lifetime and they then live what Henry David Thoreau called “Lives of quiet desperation.”
This episode can be life-changing when you come to own the truth that circumstances are not your prison, your life interpretations are.
In this episode I talk about:
I cannot stress enough how vital it is to understand the concept that your life is ‘one big interpretation.’
If you’re not getting what you want in life then change your interpretations, because…
You’re never at the mercy of your circumstances, you are at the mercy of interpretations.
You're listening to episode number 85 of the Transform Your Life from the Inside Out podcast. And this episode, I talk about why you're not a prisoner of your circumstances, but you're a prisoner of your interpretations. If you've ever been stuck anywhere in life and you feel blocked, then you're going to want to listen to this episode.
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation and I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you. Because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
Your Life Has Far More To Do With Interpretations Than Facts
You're not a prisoner of your circumstances, you're a prisoner of your interpretations. This episode has the power, the literal power to transform your life. If you really dig into and you explore this episode, and the interesting thing about this episode is this episode is also about interpretations, because you're going to be making interpretations about what I'm saying in this episode about interpretations. Let me ask you a question here. If I said, what do you think of this podcast? I'm going to be quiet here for a second, just you know what comes to mind as you think about this podcast. And like I said, I'll be quiet here for a second. What comes to mind?
Well, what I want you to notice is what came to mind and I don't know what came to your mind because there's a lot of people that listen. But if you're like 99.9% of people, what came to your mind was simply an interpretation. And interpretations are actually your perceptions and your beliefs about whatever it is that you're thinking about. Thinking about this podcast to give you just you know, to concretize us. And by the way, if you have not and you've listened for any amount of time and you really enjoy this podcast, please go and leave a positive review. I would really appreciate it because it helps me reach more people. But when you think about the reviews, at least on iTunes, you think about the reviews on the podcast. If you look at the reviews, and I'm very grateful because I don't know, there are 550 years something I don't know how many. And most of them are five star reviews. There was one person that said actually many I don't know long time ago. And as I said, I don't read them all, I only use them for social proof to help me reach more people. But somebody on this podcast said, I'm a bad person. Well, you know what? All the people that say I'm a good person, all the people that say I'm a bad person, in the reviews, is nothing more than an interpretation. Your entire life, for the most part, is an interpretation. See, interpretations are your subjective evaluation or experience of the world. And facts, which are very far and few in between. Because if you look back when I asked you what you thought about this podcast, and if you recapitulate that in your mind, when I said, "What do you think of this podcast?" Notice what you think of this podcast, for the most part is not factual. A fact is something that's universally universally verifiable. So what you were thinking probably most likely wasn't a fact. Now a fact would be I listened to Jim's podcast and as a result I stopped smoking, or whatever it is, a behavior change. Okay. We could say that's a fact. But if I asked you what you thought about the podcast, and you said, "Wow, it really dives deep. It's helped me do this. It's it's changed my perspective on the world." Well, then we even have to look, at how much of that changing on the perspective of the world is an interpretation versus a fact. Your life. Your life, for the most part is one big interpretation. And there are very few facts in your life. And most people like to argue, well, some people, I'd say some like to argue that, but when you really just sit down and you get very objective, and you look at your life, most of your life quite literally has nothing to do with facts, which we'll talk about here, you know, as we go through this episode.
Okay, so interpretations. Where do they come from? Well, we start with perspective. Let's say that we're standing on a street corner. Well, let me go here first. We go from perspective, to perception to interpretation. Now, let's say we're standing on a street corner, and you see an accident. Well, what you see in that accident is going to be based upon where you were standing on the street. Were you on the northwest corner, the southeast corner, the four corners, let's say it's a four corners intersection, where you're standing. Your perspective is going to determine what you perceive, and then what you perceive is going to determine what you interpret. And then what you interpret is going to be obviously, the foundation for what you believe that you saw. I also want to point out I've watched a lot of brain videos and stuff like that. Documentaries on brain research is that it's so easy to deceive human beings. I mean, you look at magic and you look at sleight of hand, it is so easy to deceive human beings. And I watched this I don't know, I don't know the episode or the series or whatever. But they had these people observe a lot, it was all staged, and then the people knew it. But they had people observe a purse snatching. And they knew that it was actually contrived, the people watching, but they actually put some other kind of like elements in there. And people, many, many people said I saw x, y, z. And then they were later asked, well, would you go to court and would you swear to that? Yes, I would swear that I saw x, y, z. And then they play the video back and show the people that things that they missed, and people would literally swear that what they saw their perception was real, when in fact it was an inaccurate perception.
The reason that I tell you that is that you have made many, many, many inaccurate perceptions about life, what life is, what life isn't, other people, and in particular, you have many misperceptions and interpretations about your abilities. And because you have these misinterpretations about your abilities, this, for most of you, is what keeps you trapped and your circumstances. So the car example that I just gave you, where you're standing in life, determines what you see. And then what you see determines what you interpret. Now that being said, it just dawned to me, if you have not yet go over to my website, jimfortin.com and download the Master Thought Formula. About three quarters of the way through, I give a very concrete sized example of levels of perception. And a short metaphor here would be is if you're on the ground level of a building, and you look out the front door out onto the street. And let's say the building is 50 stories tall. But you go to the roof of the building, you're at the same address, you're at the same physical address. But you're going to have different interpretations based upon your perceptions based upon your perspective of whether or not you're in the lobby, you're in the parking basement or you are on the roof of that building. So please go to jimfortin.com. There's no charge. It's a video training, I believe it's about 90 minutes long, and download the Master Thought Formula.
Now, I'm laughing at myself here perceptions and facts. Okay, so many, many people have said, "Jim, that program has shifted my life. It's changed my life." Well, okay, they're making interpretations about how it did, but there is some fact in there. When I said I'm laughing at myself, I was going to say, you know, but I'm just kind of stumbling here. But my interpretation also based upon all the feedback that I get is that Master Thought Formula is one of the best programs I've ever put together that helps people shift their lives. So interpret your way through what I just said. But whatever you do, if you haven't yet, go download the program and go through it. But just don't go through it once, go through it again and again and again. I mean, honestly, it's something that I've mastered in my life, because of my life and the opportunities that I've had. And it's a very easy formula for me to use at this point in my life, but you use the formula in the Master Thought Formula and that in itself will significantly transform your life.
Now speaking of life, where you're standing in your own life right now, wherever you are, whether you're in perfect health or you're not or you're a billionaire, or you're a famous person or you're not famous or you can't afford to put tires on your car, or you live in a you know, $3 million home, it doesn't matter. Wherever you are and wherever you're standing in your own life right now is a reflection of your interpretations about what life is and what it is not. You know, the best example, two people could lose their money. Let's say that two people have $1,000 in their pocket. Actually this dawn to me, I'll give you the example. I don't know how long you listen to the podcast, but I grew up poor. We grew up working class. And this day and age, I do quite well financially. So the example that I'm going to give you here is two people. Literally, if I lost $10,000 tomorrow. I mean, if I had 10,000 cash in my pocket, and I dropped it, and I lost it, I wouldn't think twice about it. That would be my interpretation. I mean, who cares? $10,000 I don't care. I'll give you a real example right here. Alright, so I office out of the house. And I'm going to actually say this. In 2018 I rented an office, just an executive suite because I just wnated to shoot video. And I rented from a company called Regus, here in the US, but I think they're international. R-E-G-U-S and my interpretation and I actually got on LinkedIn and found a thread that had like 300 reviews about them and they were all they were all mirroring and reflecting what I'm saying. The most unethical people in the world. I mean, they were extraordinarily hard to deal wit and if you're ever looking at renting office space, I would do my own due diligence, go to LinkedIn type in Regus and read like the massive amounts of negative reviews. I mean, these people are bordering on criminal in terms of like not discontinuing, you know, like they wouldn't just continue building they kept billing and etc, etc, etc. But here's the thing, let me go here with the conversational loop that I started. I have a $3,800 deposit with this company when I started two years ago, and it's kind of ludicrous that I say it but it is what it is. But when I ended the lease a year ago, these people are so difficult to deal with that they owe me $3,800 and for you, that might be a lot of money. So interpretations for me, I haven't even called because they're so difficult to deal with and I've not even had anybody on my team do it, because they're so challenging that I'm like, I don't care. You know, I've already written it off on my taxes, it's $3,800 bucks, I don't care. But that's my interpretation of $3,800. What's your interpretation of $3,800? And then you could even make interpretations about what the story that I just told you means to you based upon your interpretations even about yourself or money or how people manage their money. So notice, well actually, this worked out pretty well, the story I shared, notice all the interpretations because you can make interpretations about the $3,800 and what it means or doesn't mean and you can make interpretations about what kind of person I am or money manager that I am that I haven't called and gotten my $3,800 bucks back because my interpretation is it's not worth me spending four hours on the phone with these people that are just not really, really ethical people. So anyway, that actually worked out pretty well, as I said. That demonstrates that two people can have the same experience, think about the same thing, and have two very different interpretations.
You look at the world around us. And I live between Dallas, Texas and Arizona, and I go back and forth. And in Dallas, Texas they say Dallas is the buckle of the Bible belt. Many, many mega Baptist churches there. I mean, churches are like 30,000 members and their Southern Baptists and all this kind of stuff. And if you look at children, in terms of interpretations. Because see, we learn interpretations as adolescents and we start observing the world the second we pop out of the womb, and we can actually even experience the physical world outside while inside the womb. And research demonstrates that based upon music that people play, and etc while the infant and baby etc is inside the womb. But we learn about the world and interpretations as adolescents and teenagers and then adults. And as I said about money a couple of minutes ago, you can have two different people. Let's say that I grew up poor, somebody else grew up rich. We have two very, very different interpretations about even what money is or how easy it is to make. I'm going to come back to the example I had here in a second. But another example popped in my mind.
There are two brothers, they were twin brothers back in my 20s. They were just good friends of mine. We actually all met waiting tables together back in the early 90s. And Troy and Eric, they grew up at Country Club of the South, outside of Atlanta, a very, very wealthy country club. They both got Corvettes in high school, and Rolex's when they graduated from college. And, you know, I didn't have any of that. I mean, I had an old beat up truck in high school, I mean, in college and in high school, and I didn't get a Rolex when I graduated from from college, but we became good friends, we hung out a lot. And I would watch them spend money in a way that in my interpretations, they were reckless with money. But what I want to point out is all they were doing is spending money. And they had interpretations about how they were spending it and what it meant. And I had interpretations about how they were spending it and what it meant. But plain and simple it was nothing more than spending money. Now, the example that I was going to give you a few minutes ago was about, you know, the religion in the world is you could have a child I mentioned at the mega churches in Dallas. You can have, you know, a child that's raised devout Christian. And guess what? They're going to have different interpretations about the world than somebody that's raised, fundamentally, perhaps Jewish, or Muslim or anything or Hindu. They're going to have different interpretations of the world. And what I want you to notice is they're simply making interpretations based upon their perspective, which means where they learned it, which then they had a perception which gave them an interpretation. And it doesn't even mean that the interpretation is anywhere aligned with facts. So just be aware of that.
So I want to ask you right now, if you could, tell me 100 facts about your life. Now, of course, I can't stop and say, you know, you may be in traffic, and I'm just, you know, thinking aloud here, tell me 100 facts about your life. And you could say, well, I'm a male or a female, and I live in New Jersey, and I went to college. But I'm going to share with you that if I ask you to put 100 facts on paper, you might be able to do 10, 15, maybe 20. And after a while, your facts start getting clouded. Because you could even say, if I said, tell me a fact, you could say, well, the sun comes up in the east. Well, that's a fact based upon perspective, because guess what, if you're on the moon, and you're looking at the earth, there is no east, therefore, it's not a fact that the moon comes up, no, not the moon, the sun comes up in the east, because the perspective is changed. And when you look at your life, there are so many things that you might think are fact that are actually not fact but they're perspective and perception and interpretations. And then what many people do, many, is they take their interpretations, and they declare the interpretation as real. And that interpretation then becomes their belief. And then they become trapped in that belief interpretation about the world and they live their entire lifetime, with a bag over their head and they don't even know they're living with a bag over their head.
So how about this? Tell me what you think about abortion. What do you think about gay marriage? What do you think about interracial marriage? What do you think about the ease of making money? What do you think about people in the US that are politically conservative? What do you think about people that are politically liberal? What do you think about climate change? Is it real? Is it not real? Is it happening? Is it not happening? Did the Chinese invented as a hoax? Well, what I want to share with you is look at all your answers. Because 99% of what 99% of you said, was not facts. They weren't facts at all. Let's go back to the first one. What do you think about abortion? So you could say, well, abortion is fine with me. It's a woman's right to choose. Or you could say it is wrong and it's against the Bible. And then you have to look at well, okay, is that a fact? And then actually, the Bible's been through many, many translations, which are interpretations. So how factual is that in the Bible and then go to a bigger picture is, which I'm not even going to go there in this particular episode is the factor interpretation about religion in itself. So what I want you to notice it then becomes a gray area. But my point of walking you through all of that is I want you clearly from this episode, clearly to observe and absorb and understand that wherever you are in life, whatever you have, whatever you don't have, is not a matter of circumstance. It's a matter of interpretation.
I used to say, as many of you may say, I used to say, I'm so stuck. I'm stuck in life. There is no such thing as being stuck in life. I mean, that's a cultural myth. It's a fallacy. You're stuck and see you're not stuck. It's your interpretations of the world that actually cause you to interpret that you're actually stuck. You are never, ever stuck. That's why I said you're never at the mercy of your circumstances like the title of this episode. You are at the mercy of your interpretations. Many of you listening. When I say what I'm going to say, what's your interpretation? It's hard to make money. It's hard to make money. What is your interpretation of that? Is your interpretation, oh my god, yes, it is. Or are you kidding me? I mean, no, it's easy. Look at the example that I gave you earlier about myself. I used to say the same thing. I used to, for many years when I actually worked until my eyeballs would bleed, and I would hustle and I would grind and I would be the early person, all that nonsense that people live by. It's ridiculous nonsense that many social media personalities and very big personalities put out in the world. And it also keeps a majority people trapped, which I've mentioned that in many other episodes, but I used to say the same thing. And I used to say it's very, it's hard to make money and geez, there's never enough and I struggle for money. And even as I'm saying this, I'm thinking back I think it was what my last episode is that we speak our lives into existence. Notice your words that are even coming from your interpretations today. It's easy for me to attract a significant amount of abundance into my lifetime. And if you've been listening for any amount of time, you know that I talk about my brother-in-law the shaman quite a bit and not that I'm talking about him. I talk about the wisdom and the experiences and the transformations that I've had working with him for 25 years. And I bring them to you guys for your benefit. His waiting list. I'm actually with him right now. I'm working right now at my house in Sedona, and he's here for a week with me. And I have the access of just sitting in my kitchen and chatting with my brother-in-law, yet his waiting list is a year and a half long. So and he doesn't charge anything. I mean, it's dirt cheap for what he charges for the time that he spends with people. But my point is, that's why I bring so much and I talk about him so much is to bring that wisdom from a real shaman to you guys so that you can transform your own life.
So you don't have to struggle and you can make your life a whole lot easier. But back to the story I was telling you guys, he said to me about I don't know, it's about six months ago, and he was talking to me and he said, he goes, yes, you have gratitude for the great abundance that you have in your life. He goes, where you don't have gratitude is how easily that abundance comes into your life. And candidly, it never dawned on me. It just didn't register prior to him saying that, that yeah, I'm grateful for the for the wealth that I have. But you know, what I'm not grateful for and I've never given and shown gratitude for is how easily that I've attracted the abundance into my life. So let's talk something tangible here. Very, very simple, very simple. I think by this point in me, you know, chattering away here, you've gotten that, wherever you are in life, it's nothing more than an interpretation. That's it. That is it. You're driving an old beat up car that you interpretation. You're driving a Lexus. That's your interpretation, a Porsche, a Ferrari, a 72 Jalopy Pinto, I mean, these are all interpretations. Your entire life, your entire, entire, entire life is 99% interpretation. And if you're not getting what you want in life, then simply make different interpretations about life.
Now a tool here is many times in the past, I used to think, which I've touched on earlier, okay, I'm blocked, I'm stuck. And I would say that many times, I'm just stuck. And if you're ever in that place, and even now, I mean, you may be looking at your bank account tonight or your checkbook or your credit card balance or whatever. And many of you might be saying, well, I'm stuck. I mean, my Visa bill's $5,000 and I've got 74 bucks in my checking account, how do I, you know, how am I going to do this and I've got to pay all this off? Well of course you can do the smaller payments, etc. but you get the point. What I want you to notice is even that thinking in that scenario is nothing more than interpretations. And anytime, it doesn't, apply to me so much anymore because I've learned to master this, so to speak. But early on when I started learning all this, anytime that I was blocked, many times, and I'm just being transparent, there were years that I stayed block for years. Many years ago, two and a half decades ago. I mean, I look back and I'm like, holy cow, Jim. I mean, you just stayed on the same hamster wheel for three years. What the hell is wrong with you? But the reason I stayed on the hamster wheel is because I always thought, well, I can't do this because of that, which was circumstance. I can't have that car, but see I can't have that job because I don't have the money to have the kind of car to go see clients or you get the point, etc, etc, etc. But I was always working by circumstances, never recognizing that it's the interpretations of the circumstances which create new and different circumstances. So what I'm sharing with you, a tool here, is that wherever you're blocked in life, you're not blocked, whatever the circumstances are. If they're not working for you, guess what? It's the interpretations creating the circumstances.
So here's where I go to. In the past, I would say, You know what? I am where I am, I'm stuck, I'm blocked. I'm upside down. I'm in the mud. I can't pay for my tires or whatever. I'm here, because I'm making interpretations. And a very simple question changes every bit of this for you. And that question is this. Are you ready? Very simple question. Anytime you're stuck, you're in interpretation, not circumstance. And the question is this, what new and different interpretations can I make right now? Consider that. Because I know that anything and everything that I've ever wanted and had or didn't have, is a result of interpretations, anything that I have now, and there's nothing honestly and I mean, this, just I wish there could be like a little lie meter on the podcast, you could see that I'm always being transparent with you guys. There's nothing that I want right now that I couldn't buy. I mean, there are a lot of things that I can't buy. I mean, like, I wouldn't buy I can't, when I say can't let me just change that. I do not have the financial wherewithal right now to buy a $300 million yacht. So okay, but you know what, I don't want a $300 million yacht. I mean, I live in Arizona, and there's no water here, you know, most of the year and I guess if I had a $300 million yacht, I'd have it in Marina Del Rey or something and my jet to take me out there. But those aren't things that I want or aspire to, at least at this point in my life. So please take this to heart. Never, never. You're never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stuck in life. There's no such thing because if you notice, anytime that you say that you're stuck, it's a matter of your circumstances causing you to say that you're stuck. And remember, we're not at the mercy of our circumstances, we are at the mercy of our interpretations. So we must do is make different interpretations.
Let me add something there very quickly, and we'll wrap up here is that what I noticed about myself many years ago, is I was stuck. Not because so much of my circumstances of the world because I literally at some level, at least analytically believed that I could be a multimillionaire or I could have this or I could have this, you know, that or different things. But where I had the most limiting interpretations, and I ask you to, please take to heart what I'm about to say here, where I had the most limiting interpretations was about myself and my own abilities. I don't know if I've ever told this story, probably did in the podcast, but about 10 years ago, and I've done what I've done for a lot of years, but for the last 10 years, I mean, things have really been extraordinary for me. And there's a woman here in town that is one of my best friends. She's a Dallas business icon. She's very, very private. She's shut down everything that she has, but she used to own the second largest private real estate company in North Texas. And her name is Virginia Cook. And when I got to know her, she was already 70. And she had been in the business for 50 years already. And a very, very well known lady in Dallas and even the National Association of Realtors calls her one of the top 20 thought leaders and real estate, national real estate. And we became extremely close friends. We were having dinner one night and she goes "Jim, I've done this for 50 years" meaning bringing coaches and trainers and speakers in her company. And she goes "I've been doing this for 50 years." And here's what she said to me that I want to share with you guys because the same thing applies to you. She said, "I don't think you realize how good you are at what you do." And that's always stuck with me because I'm like, I mean, in today's words, I'd be like, well, maybe you know what? Yeah. I mean, what interpretations was I making about myself back then that kept me extremely limited? And it kept me from impacting millions of people. But I still had the skills. I was still apprenticing with a Shaman and I still had the NLP experience. I still had hypnosis experience. But the reality is, what interpretations was I making about myself in the world from my circumstances, that kept me where I was then as opposed to where I am now?
So what I share with you is what I request that you do is look at the interpretations that you're making about your own abilities. Because I promise you this, whatever for most of you, not all of you, but whatever interpretations you're making about your abilities, you're off by at least 50% which means you're probably twice as good at what you do, then the interpretation that you have about how good you are at what you do. I got that out of my mouth. I wasn't sure where I'm going to go with that. I may say this wrong, but there's it's called, I believe it's called a Navy SEAL rule of 40%. And that rule of 40% is that when you think that you're done, and you have nothing left in you, I mean, you want to just lay down in the sand and cry wherever they do it in California, when you think that you're done, just spent, you're only at 40% of your ability in that moment. So when it comes to your interpretations, I don't know the exact number because I could actually do a podcast, and I could literally tell you but you wouldn't get it even though you've heard it 1000 times is that you can have anything that you want in life. You have unlimited resources to draw upon in your life. Llife supports you.
To give you a simple example of that is water, you drink water. If you didn't have water to support you, you'd be a dead bag of skin in a few days. You can have any thing that you want, but you can only have it based upon the interpretations that you choose, I've done an episode on that, that you choose to accept for yourself. For me, my interpretation even though it's probably 99% 100 sounds better, but my interpretation in life is that 100% possible 100% of the time. One hundred percent possible 100% of the time. Whatever I want in life is 100% possible 100% of the time. The only example that I give you is that when I said 99% I mean i'm going to just tell you, if I wanted to be Barry Gib, the lead singer of the Bee Gee's, trust me that ain't possible for me. I ain't gonna happen, there's no way it's going to happen. So, you know, 99% possible 99% of the time. But guess what? That means anything that you want, that literally is in your consciousness is available to you. What a lot of people do though, is they make their interpretations and you know, look at your own life. A lot of people make interpretations that don't work for them and their interpretations about their skills and ability, and then they quit. They get into what I call resignation. I can't do X, Y, Z. Why? Because of my circumstances, and they stay in the same pattern for their life.
Speaking of circumstances, you may have heard me say this before, but anytime you say "I don't have enough time, I don't have the money. I don't have the energy." Anytime you say I don't have enough time, I don't have enough money. I don't have enough energy, you're working from circumstance. And when you work from circumstance which the interpretations are causing you to say that in the first place, when you work from circumstance, you repeat your circumstances. And I'm going to say it again, because I think pretty much everyone listening is like, yeah, I get it. I get it. No, you don't. You understand it, but you don't know it. That's why you do the same stuff over and over and over and over again. And then you say, "Well, this isn't what I want." Well, the reason it happens is because you're working from circumstances and your circumstances are created by your interpretations. Change. Change your interpretations. Your transformation take away this week is that you're never at the mercy of your circumstances. You are at the mercy of your interpretations. Alrighty, next podcast on Wednesday. I'm excited about this title as well. The title of the next episode is that "You're the Creator, and the solution to all your problems." Okay, thanks for listening today. Make it a great day today and I'll catch you over on another episode. Bye bye.
Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value, they will too, so please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to email@example.com and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram, my Instagram name is @iamjimfortin. Finally, I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together, you and I, let's help more people. If you would, please leave a review on iTunes and a good one by the way, I'd be grateful and through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.