Everything Happens For A Reason – The Greatest Lie Or Profound Truth?

Everything Happens For A Reason – The Greatest Lie Or Profound Truth?

Everything Happens For A ReasonWhen we go through hard times or some random event occurs with seemingly no rhyme or reason, most of us have friends and family that gather around us and try to encourage us and lift us up. Many times we’re told that everything happens for a reason – but are we being comforted with a lie or is there some truth to this?

Yesterday, I posted an update on Facebook that said:

“To assume that everything happens for a reason is to neglect the reality of free will, which then excuses taking responsibility for our actions. Things happen because seeds are sown, choices are made, and a harvest is reaped.”

In this post I want to dive a little deeper into the rabbit hole and answer some pretty tough questions and bring an entirely different perspective than what many people may be used to.

The answer to this question may shock you…

Everything Happens For A Reason – The Origins Of This Controversial Topic

I was reading a post on Psychology Today that dove into the origins of where this saying comes from…

Here are the ‘cliff notes’:

When many people say that everything happens for a reason, there seems to be a little bit of confusion over what is meant by ‘a reason.’ According to Aristotle, there are 4 comprehensive reasons why anything in this world happens (for simplicity, we’ll use the example of building a house):

  • Material Cause (The materials that house of made of)
  • Formal Cause (The blue-print for using the materials to build the house)
  • Efficient Cause (Cause and effect – the hammer hits the nail causing the nail to be driven into the wood)
  • Final Cause (Why the house is being built in the first place; it’s purpose)

The 2 causes we’re going to want to focus on in regards to the topic of everything happens for a reason are the efficient cause and the final cause. The implications of the phrase “everything happens for a reason” applies to both causes. Do we do things today to serve a purpose tomorrow? Absolutely, and this would be a final cause. Perhaps things happen to us today because they are an effect of an earlier cause – in which ‘a reason’ would point to an efficient cause.

So things either happen due to cause and effect or because that’s the end result we were working towards in the first place.

Hit And Run By A Drunk Driver (True Story )

Everything Happens For A ReasonThis past September, my wife and I were involved in a hit and run car accident where a drunk driver ran into us and our jeep was flipped four times.

If everything happens for a reason, what was the reason (cause) for this accident?

Could we have taken steps that would’ve prevented this from happening in the first place?

Absolutely.

Perhaps we could’ve made the decision to not drive so late or to stay home. The drunk driver that hit us could’ve made the decision to not drink and drive – but he didn’t.

What I Believe About The Phrase “Everything Happens For A Reason”

There are a couple of different perspectives I have on the subject of ‘everything happens for a reason’. First and foremost, I believe in free will and I believe in the principle of sowing and reaping.

Just like I stated on Facebook:

“To assume that everything happens for a reason is to neglect the reality of free will, which then excuses taking responsibility for our actions. Things happen because seeds are sown, choices are made, and a harvest is reaped.”

If we make poor decisions and sow bad seed today that ultimately results in a consequential harvest tomorrow, then for us to say that “everything happens for a reason” is nothing more than a crutch that cripples us from truly growing into the leader we need to be.

“But Leigh, what about things that happen that are completely out of our control?”

A friend of mine (who we’ll call Jenny) was recently at the airport waiting to come home to Texas from Florida when her flight was cancelled. In her mind, she’s telling herself everything happens for a reason – and she’s right. The flight was cancelled due to a sequence of events that were out of her control.

When Jenny gave me her explanation of what the phrase ‘everything happens for a reason’ means to her, she said:

“Like had it not been cancelled and I got on it, I would have contracted the flu, brought it home to my kids, gotten my oldest sick, who has trouble fighting illnesses , etc…”

We can choose to look at situations like this in a positive light or a negative light – Jenny consistently chooses to look at things positively. I believe that when people say everything happens for a reason, what they’re REALLY saying is “I’m an optimist and I CHOOSE to look for the positive in what seems to be a negative situation.”

At the end of the day, Jenny ‘chose’ to look at this situation in a positive light instead of a negative one. Many people can learn from her example.

Some might call that speculation…

But either way, one might ‘choose’ to look at it differently. Perhaps the flight being cancelled caused her to miss an opportunity to meet someone that could’ve drastically changed her life in a BIG way.

Again, this is just speculation…only this time from the opposite side of the coin.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?

At the end of the day, I believe we need to understand that we reap what we sow and take responsibility for our actions. The things that happen that are out of our control are what we need to trust God with when he says in Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Do you  have any stories you want to share? Do you agree or disagree with this post? I would highly value your feedback and would love to converse about the topic!

 

I value your feedback – please comment and share :-D

 

Committed to Your Success,

 

Leigh Ellis

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About The Author

Leigh Ellis

Just a decade ago in 2002, Leigh was a broke unemployed skeptic living in his car and bumming showers off of any friends that would let him over to clean up. Fast forward several years later, Leigh has seen success by building 2 successful traditional businesses of his own as well as obtaining leadership positions in 2 network marketing companies. With simplistic and practical application, Leigh mentors others on the true value of Attraction Marketing and teaches people exactly how to succeed in their business. Connect with Leigh on Facebook or . If you’d like to know more about how Leigh can help you build your business, then contact Leigh by Clicking Here


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