Everything that Happens is the Best Outcome

We’ve all heard the saying: everything that happens, happens for a reason. Some people by into this, some don’t.

Although I admit that I sometimes have trouble seeing–and accepting this idea–in the moment, I do believe that there is rhyme and reason to all that happens. When I got laid off at the beginning of the year, I certainly didn’t say, [i]Yay! Woo-hoo! I got laid off! Awesome[/i]! But now I have a new job, and if the Universe really has a plan, then this new job will end up being We’ve all heard the saying: everything that happens, happens for a reason. Some people by into this, some don’t.

Although I admit that I sometimes have trouble seeing–and accepting this idea–in the moment, I do believe that there is rhyme and reason to all that happens. When I got laid off at the beginning of the year, I certainly didn’t say, [i]Yay! Woo-hoo! I got laid off! Awesome[/i]! But now I have a new job, and if the Universe really has a plan, then this new job will end up being better–or more beneficial in one way or another–than the one I had.

In fact, within just a few weeks of getting laid off, my old shop was hit with a series of tragedies, including a guy I knew–a nice, young guy–who died in a surfing accident. My being gone spared me from having to be in the mix of the grief that office still feels about this and other rough events that occurred in succession.

Psychologist Carl Jung has this particular take on the theory of everything happening for a reason, and I’m paraphrasing: Everything that happens was meant to happen, and the reason I know this is because it [i]did [/i]happen. If something else was meant to have happened, then that’s what would have happened.

Taking this theory one step further, Chris Prentiss writes in Zen and the Art of Happiness: "Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that [i]can[/i] happen to me." This means that, according to Prentiss, whatever happened to me was not only meant to happen, but there was no other possible occurrence that would have been better than what actually did happen.

Wow. That’s a pretty exciting way to think about my life, and letting myself think and feel that way really gets my juices flowing.

If I break my leg falling down the stairs, does that mean that was the best possible occurrence that could have happened? If I’m a glass half empty kinda guy, then I’m thinking, [i]this stinks! Why did I fall and break my leg at all?[/i] But if I’m a glass half-full kinda guy, then I’m thinking, [i]wow. I’m really lucky. I could have broken my neck, and all I came away with was a broken leg[/i].

I want to say that without any hesitation I believe that everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me. I try to embrace this idea as much as possible. And the truth is, the more I do think this way, the better I feel, the more optimistic I am and the more successful I become. And the less I think this way, the more I tend to struggle, get depressed and stressed out.

What I come away with is that–similar to any number of thinkers on this topic–it just seems to be in my best interest to see opportunity and upside in everything, even if grief, frustration and disappoint are staring me in the face. Zig Ziglar says that while positive thinking unto itself won’t bring you anything, positive thinking will help you do [i]everything better[/i] than negative thinking will. That’s pretty tough to dispute.

So I’m doing my best to always embrace the idea that everything that happens to me is the best thing that can happen to me, even if I can’t quite seem to think this way in every moment. But I’m going to think this way as much as possible. I just feel better about life–and myself–when I do. And if that’s the case, then that’s the kind of thinking for me.

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