I’d like to share a little secret with you. Except it’s not really a secret, it’s something you’ll have heard many times. It’s just a seemingly glib little 5-word phrase: “Everything happens for a reason”. No doubt someone has uttered those words to you in times of adversity. They may even have escaped your own lips. The trouble is it has become a phrase that is over-used and that has been weakened in meaning. Yet such a simple little saying can change your life once you think about it and accept it. It requires faith and belief—not in a religious sense but rather in an acceptance that the Universe is what it is and cannot be understood by a human being any more than a blob of solder on a circuit board can understand how a computer works. There’s no point in wondering why we exist or pondering the meaning of life. It is unknowable. It is difficult to accept that everything was created for a purpose and it only begs the question of who created the creator and so on. Down that path lies mental misery.
Whether you are born into a life of luxury or a life of hardship, the best way to be happy is to believe you are living the life you are meant to. That does not mean you cannot change your life around if you want to—it simply means that there is no such thing as failure. Every life that has ever been lived has had a point to it no matter how hard it was to see. Your experience of the world, even if it has been miserable, will be completely unique and hence priceless. You may think you’ve achieved nothing but that is impossible to know—you could easily have said or done something that inspired someone else to do something amazing and although you are unaware of it, it wouldn’t have happened without you. When you are having a good life and things are going really well there’s no need to dig deep and search for solace but when you’re having a difficult time it is helpful to remember that there is a reason why and that you are a unique piece in an infinite puzzle that cannot be completed without you. You won’t ever get to see the finished picture, or even have the vaguest clue what it is meant to be, yet your part of it will have been vital, whether you see that or not. Most of us can think back on moments in our lives that seemed catastrophic at the time yet in hindsight led us down a path towards something better. Equally, there may have been moments that seemed like unbelievable good luck but that sent us down a road where trouble and despair lay waiting. We cannot second guess what lies ahead—tomorrow may be just like today, or something wonderful may happen, or something devastating may happen. The only preparation you can make is to convince yourself that whatever happens, be it good, bad or indifferent, it will happen for a reason. Once you get that you will be able to survive whatever Kipling’s famous two imposters, triumph and disaster, may throw at you.