Choose to be Positive, Success, What Really Matters
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Everything Happens For a Reason… Or Does It?

“Everything happens for a reason”

Such simple, yet profound, encouraging (yet partially demotivating) words.  A phrase we have all heard.   Yet they stopped me in my tracks.

My friend and I had been chatting about some recent happenings when she smiled her typical warm smile and said, “Everything happens for a reason.”

I had always believed that.  But this particular day, it struck me – I don’t actually believe that anymore.  Butterflies and rainbows, all things happen for a reason


Without question, some things happen for a reason that we simply aren’t able to see at the time.  It isn’t until we are a little further down the road that we can see how the pieces all fit together.  Life ran it’s mystical course and brought good out of a dark or bleak situation.


What about rape?  What about abuse?  Neglect?  Innocent children kidnapped from loving homes to experience unimaginable horrors?   Premature deaths?

These can all seem far removed if they don’t touch our lives personally.  So… what about betrayal?  Shattered dreams?  Broken hearts?

black and white, butterflies and rainbows

The story will vary from person to person but the truth is, sometimes things happen that don’t make sense.  Some things don’t naturally evolve into something beautiful and good.  Sometimes hard times come.  Bad things happen.

What then?

This is when we have the opportunity to make a choice.


I think the phrase “Everything happens for a reason” can be slightly demotivating.  It can give us the hope we need to hold on to in confusing times, but it also leaves us somewhat powerless.  Waiting.  Hoping.  Empowerment is lifted, as we await destiny to work it’s magic.

The good news is we can choose to move forward.  We can intentionally create good in the face of hardships.  It boils down to two things:  Our mindset or outlook on life and our actions.


It is nearly impossible to be productive or move forward if we are weighed down.  Sadness, fear and an illusion of hopelessness rob our zest for life and drain our energy.

Positive thinking is the furthest thing from butterflies and rainbows.  In truth, it requires raw determination.  It takes incredible strength of spirit to stand in the face of hard times and choose to seek the good.

In his book Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins demonstrates the power we have to change our mood by changing our mindset.   When he would do counselling, the hurting person would come into his office and start to cry as they relayed their story.  He had pre-arranged for his secretary to call, and excuse himself to take an important call.  Instantaneously, the person who was crying inconsolably would compose themselves and wait until he was off the phone to resume.  Of course there was no important call.  Tony Robbins did this intentionally so the individual could experience and see firsthand the power they hold to control their emotions.  We all hold this power.   When discouragement hits, and we are surrounded by seemingly impossible obstacles, it is paramount that we make a concerted effort to change our mindset.


But what can we practically DO to move forward?  Quotes that encourage us to create our destiny are great when we are motivated, but what about when we are at our lowest?  Here are some practical actions:

– Read motivating and uplifting books.  Books by Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, & Zig Ziglar are excellent.

– Write out everything you are grateful for.  The people you love.  The dreams you have.  What you want to do with your future.  Your favourite memories. Memories that make you laugh.

– Exercise.  A run or good workout lifts stress and releases endorphins, putting you in a happier, more pro-active state.

– Create a plan.  If a setback to your dream is what has you low, it is empowering to look again at your goals and dreams.  Devise a plan to make them a reality.

– Do something you love.  Be it salsa dancing, meeting with friends, or having a glass of wine (3 things I love!).  Being aware of what makes you happy and doing things you love helps you remember everything you love about life.


In order to move forward, we have to make a decision to put the past behind us.  Our own mistakes. Hurts.  Everything.  We must forgive.  Learn any lessons that we can glean in order to make us better people.   Contemplate what we could do differently in order avoid similar happenings in the future… and then move forward.  Stop thinking and associating with things that hold you back.  You have a lot to live for and the future is yours to create.


What are your thoughts?  Do you believe everything happens for a reason?


  1. Clifton Means says

    Good read Naomi. I think ‘sayings’ come about for a reason. Mostly because they hold some weight in a large variety of instances. But sayings should be re-tested and challenged….I like that you took that on. I would be in the camp that believes everything happens for a reason…some of which we will never know. However, I am not in the camp that uses it as a way of accepting circumstances that are inferior or consistently removes personal responsibility. So I guess I’m just saying believing everything happens for a reason as a form of self encouragement is not always helpful depending on the circumstance.


    • Great point, Cliff! True enough, believing everything happens for a reason doesn’t always necessarily remove personal responsibility – so much is up to the individual. Variety and differing views are what makes life interesting. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!


  2. Natalie Purdy says

    You are an extremely talented writer and motivational person. I believe we can choose to make good out of our tough situations instead of becoming bitter with a victim- like mentality. Great read!


    • Totally agree, Natalie! The victim mentality is only self-destructive. Thanks so much for your encouragement and kind words!! ❤


  3. A dear friend and mentor of mine says two things all the time that have helped shape my idea of the world in the past 10 years. The first is “Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems.” Years ago when I first heard that it made no sense to me (mostly because I was working so hard to make life a certain way). Now, after many personal changes and decisions, it is one of the most comforting, calming statements of my life. It says to me that I have no control over anyone or anything but myself. I make my own choices, and whatever happens from those choices simply happens. My only responsibility is to take care of myself, make the best decisions I can make, and then accept whatever follows. Acceptance means not trying so hard to make something specific happen or not trying so hard to make sense out what does happen. Saying something “happens for a reason” makes it way too big of a deal, I think. “Reasons” are so abstract and “out there”….and who’s “reasons” are we talking about anyway? The bottom line is that acceptance is simple–which leads to my friends second phrase she says constantly, which is, “It is what it is, and its going to be what its going to be.” I know…it makes you want to shrug. If you think about it, however, it takes all “reason” out of things and only leaves what actually happens.

    Life is only about choices–daily, do good or do bad, take care of yourself or don’t, love, be kind, joyful, sometimes hard…choices. We can control certain aspects, but we can’t control everything–and “reasons” for all of this simply do not exist.

    Great post, Naomi. Good work. I love it.


  4. Pingback: Bad Days and the Pursuit of Happiness | Dream and Pursue

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