I wanted to step out of nutrition for a sec (or an article), to address a topic that I particularly enjoy: Mindset. More importantly, I wanted to take some time to explain why I am not a fan of this popular saying “Everything happens for a reason”.
You’ve probably heard this expression many times, maybe even said it many times. I know I have! That’s actually because I’ve used that excuse that I wanted to write about it. The more I started to change the way I think, the more I saw how much of a lie it was.
Give it a shot – tell your friend who just lost her dad that it happened for a reason, tell your coworker who just got dumped and is left a single mom that it happened for a reason, tell your aunt who just lost her job it happened for a reason. You might be back with a few black eyes, on top of not being a helpful person in painful times. The truth is, sometimes life plain sucks. Sometimes everything that could go wrong, did actually go wrong. That’s reality, not some well calculated “written in the stars” BS, or a gift in disguised (it could be, and you’ll discover how/why after). If you sit there, feeling sorry for yourself and cheering yourself up with “it’s okay, everything happens for a reason” you’re up for another very sucky ride because chances are, nothing will get easier, nor more fair. Nothing is fair, life isn’t fair! We’re always looking for someone or something to blame, because it is easier than facing the truth. It leaves us free of guilt and allows us to continue a vicious circle of victim behavior, complaining and wondering why life is so hard on us. Flash news : at one point, it’s always going to suck, for everybody, and it is not a competition to determine who’s winning a pity contest. We all know those people right?! They lay out everything going wrong in their life to justify the hole they dug for themselves. I am not judging though, I feel like every human being goes through this phase at one point of their life.
Now that I’ve depressed everyone to their bones and you guys are getting ready to either jump off your balcony, or virtually throw rotten tomatoes at me thinking : “not true, being fired was the best thing that ever happened to me, I took the jump to open my own business”, or “that break up needed to happen, it was a toxic relationship and I’m finally happy”, or “losing a family member made me who I am today”. Let me tell you what I do believe is real… All of the above can actually happen, that’s true… But all of these statements are from persons who stood up for themselves. They might believe that “it happened for a reason”, but what they leave out of the equation is that they made it happen. Many people sit there patiently waiting for something to happen – wondering why they still haven’t experienced that breakthrough “everyone” is talking about. It’s all about taking risks, taking opportunities and not blaming anything or anyone. Owning your mistakes, owning what went wrong, taking responsibilities of everything going on in your life. That’s when the saying “Everything happens for a reason” starts to make sense. With seven billions people on earth, there will be seven billions different reactions to the same event, that’s human nature.
Once you understand that everything in your life is the sum of all your choices, the good, the bad, and the ugly, owning them and being at peace with them, then you’re ahead of 95% of the population. If you understand that, there is no such thing as failure, it all becomes experiences. Some experiences aren’t great, some are unfair, some of them will make you punch walls, and will eventually make your life miserable for a period of time, but you will always get to choose how you react. Once you’re done punching walls, re-frame “why did this happen to me?” with better questions like : “What can I learn from it?”, “How can I take advantage of this?”, “How can this make me grow?”, “How can this make me a better person?”, “What has this taught me?”, “Why is this happening for me, instead of to me?” All of this and more… That’s when great stories happen: “I finally launch my business”, “I am a stronger person”, “I won this competition”, “I met someone great”,… But these outcomes didn’t come from “Everything happens for a reason”, they are reactions to very courageous actions.
No one gets a free happiness pass, but a few people will have the guts to take happiness by the balls and make it their own, while many others will contemplate their life passing by like a black and white movie, wondering why they didn’t get the colors all the others seem to have. Be one of the few people.
Focusing on what is within our control is a constant learning, and not an easy one, but it’s worth every effort. And the good news is, it is never too late to start!
“By doing the hard things, life gets easier” – Jim Kwik
I’ll leave you with a few books that allowed me to explore personal development a little bit deeper and that changed my perspective on many things in life. In a perfect world, these books (among other ones) would be mandatory in high school!
Feel free to keep the conversation going and if you have some persons/books/movies/podcasts that have changed your life, drop a comment below!
In the meantime, thank you for reading, and if you liked it, please share the love!
Bisous, bye, bye!
“Mindset“, By Carol S. Dweck
“Can’t Hurt Me“, by David Goggins
“Living with a Seal“, by Jesse Itzler
“Living with Monks“, by Jesse Itzler
“7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey
“Shoe Dog“, by Phil Knight
“Max Out Your Life”, by Ed Mylett
“Limitless“, by Jim Kwik
“Maybe It’s You“, by Lauren Zander
“Start with Why“, by Simon Sinek
Other good books that relate and that I enjoyed :
“Own Your day, Own Your Life” by Aubrey Marcus
“La puissance de La Joie“, by Frédéric Lenoir
“The Miracle Morning“, by Hal Elrod
And an old time classic : “The Alchemist“, by Paulo Coelho