We've all heard the phrase before, but it can be hard to believe that "everything happens for a reason" when facing hardship. The concept, however, is nothing new, with its origins stemming from Aristotle, one of the most prominent philosophers in Ancient Greece.
If you're a cynic, here are reasons why you should consider believing that everything happens for a reason.
It Gives You Closure
When struck by a personal tragedy or negative outcome, believing that things happen for a reason—even if you're not yet sure what that reason is—gives you closure from that event and helps you move on from it.
You Accumulate Fewer Regrets
Regrets are all created from the notion that, if only we had acted differently in the past, we would have a better present. Belief in things happening for a reason allows us to come to peace with our past decisions rather than regretting them.
It Can Help Alleviate Pain
It's easier to process pain when you can imagine that there is some future good that will come from it, rather than letting yourself wallow in your unhappiness at the moment.
It Helps You Grow From Adversity
Rather than taking a setback as a moment of defeat, implementing this philosophy allows you to move forward to see what other opportunities are available to you.
I was rejected from my dream job a few years ago, which led me to a career field I am more passionate about now.
It Promotes Optimism
Rather than fixating on losses or disappointments, which can contribute to a pessimistic view on life, believing that all events have a purpose in your life allows you to put faith in future positive outcomes instead.
You Take More Opportunities To Self-Reflect
Rather than putting negative events and bad outcomes down to simply being a matter of bad luck, you instead focus on what happened, how you acted in the moment, and how to move forward.
It Helps You Turn Failures Into Lessons
When we experience failures in life, it's way easier to chalk them up to bad luck or bad timing. While it might be harder to do so, this philosophy forces you to consider what went wrong and learn from it.
It Allows You To Make Sense Of The Chaos In Your Life
Life can often feel like an endless string of random events that just happen, but this philosophy forces you to create a mental map linking events and how they can shape your life.
It Forms The Defining Moments Of Your Life
If you actively practice self-reflection and looking for the reasons behind why things have happened in your life, it's easy to identify the turning points that shaped your current circumstances and who you are as a person.
You Focus On The Big Picture More
When bad things happen to us, it's far too easy to fixate on the moment and our personal devastation at that particular moment.
If you believe everything happens for a reason, you look more toward the long run and consider events as mere moments in the grand scheme of things.
You Look Forward To The Future Rather Than Fixating On The Past
When something happens, it can be easy to get stuck in a past where you felt "happier" prior to when that thing happened, but this philosophy emphasizes the importance of finding purpose and moving forward.
We're Constantly Evolving From What Happens In Our Lives
Whether we acknowledge it or not, all of the struggles, triumphs, and interactions we experience in our lives help to shape us into the people we are and will be in the future.
The Cynics Simply Have A Different Understanding Of "Reason"
People who disagree with this philosophy generally perceive "reason" to mean that events are reactive to our past behaviors, meaning that each event is supposed to immediately have a reason behind it.
However, "Reason" Is The Meaning We Give To Our Life Events
This philosophy aims to say that the things that happen to us are meant to direct and cause the paths we take in the future; rather than fixating on blaming past events, we instead see how actions can create new opportunities in the future.
You Can't Control What Happens, But You Can Control How You Move Forward
While some events, like the death of a loved one, are beyond our control, we are able to control how we cope, grieve, and move forward in our lives after experiencing tragedy. We can choose to make the best of a bad situation.
You Become An Agent In Your Life Rather Than Someone Things Merely Happen To
By finding reason in the events of your life, positive or negative, and allowing the reasons you find to help you move forward, you become proactive in defining your own life, rather than just accepting that things will happen to you by chance.
It Gives You Valuable Introspection When Life Gets Hard
When we are in the worst moments of our lives and consumed by grief, sadness, or a sense of hopelessness, we can believe that something, in the future, will come from this pain and blossom into positivity. We know we can make that happen, and it gives us strength.
It Allows Us To Feel The Entirety Of Our Humanity
The human experience is to feel a wide spectrum of emotion, and while it hurts, grief and sadness are a part of it. Feeling pain makes us more human and empathetic, which is a reason in itself for the events of our lives.
It Is, In Many Ways, The Meaning Of Life
The "meaning of life" has been a long-debated topic, but many would argue that we are meant to do more than merely exist—we're meant to experience things and find meaning from those experiences, shaping our lives and who we become.
Philosophies Like This Have Been Prominent In Human Culture For Most Of History
As stated in the introduction, this philosophy can be traced back to Ancient Greece, but it has also appeared in most dominant religions and in different cultures across time. It just goes to show that this philosophy is tried and true.