11 December 2016

75 – Make Good Things Happen for a Reason

One of the best people I’ve ever worked with got fired recently. And that helped me fine-tune the reason for making this essay happen.

To make a long story short, my ex-co-worker was told he needed to choose between the needs of the business and the needs of his son. He was told to be smart and use his head. Instead he chose to use his heart.

And now my ex-co-worker has a valuable story, and powerful lesson, to pass on to his Little Man when he’s old enough to understand.

Life throws lots of fastballs at our heads. And that high, inside heat often knock us flat on our arses. And when that happens, a lot of people tell themselves the following:

Everything happens for a reason.’

In some respects that’s true. The decisions we make, and the actions we take, inform every outcome regardless of whether they’re outcomes we desire or not. The present condition of a thing is preceded by an action that caused that condition to come into being. In simple, everyday terms: an egg only fries after it’s been broken in to a frying pan and set over a heat source. Every reaction is contingent upon deliberate and specific actions.

That’s not opinion, boys and girls. That’s the Third Law of Motion as brought to you by one of the all-time thinkers in human history.

Born on Christmas Day. Changed the world for the better. 

So yes, everything does happen for a reason. I’ve got no issue with Newton’s logic. However, I do take issue with how and when people choose to tell themselves that everything happens for a reason.’

So buckle up. Here comes a rant.

A lot of us tell ourselves that everything happens for a reason for the same reasons. It’s a mantra we recite, or others recite to us, when something unfortunate befalls us. It’s supposed to console us with the suggestion that bad things always precede better things to come.

Telling ourselves everything happens for a reason in such moments is poor reasoning. It’s a weak form of self-reassurance. It’s lazy optimism borne of a delusional mindset. It’s blind, vain hope.

When we tell ourselves that everything happens for a reason we’re willingly sacrificing our power to control our own lives. We’re behaving reactively and allowing unfortunate turns to dictate our actions. We’re voting to live below our potential.

In such moments, telling yourself ‘everything happens for a reason’ only leads you to realizing that nothing happens for a reason, too.

There are no guarantees that a detour from the straight path of life, whether intentional or unexpected, will be cancelled out by a chance detour back on to the straight path. Nature doesn’t deal in straight lines. Nor does life.

Life doesn’t deal in guarantees, either. Nor does it offer ready-to-serve-in-less-than-five-minutes enlightenment and wisdom. The shit you’re neck-deep in doesn’t magically become low-fat chocolate oxygen once you start drowning.

We find reason in the everything that’s happened only after it’s happened. We can only make sense of happenings once we reflect on them. Yet looking back is only a start. If you’re looking to move forward after an unfortunate turn by concluding that everything happens for a reason’ then you’re looking the wrong way. For though you should never leave your past behind, looking back on it obsessively is a complete and utter waste of your future.

Thanks, Wayne’s World.

You need to wake up. You need to pull yourself up after you’ve been knocked on your arse. You need to find your way back on to the straight path when you wander astray. You need to start paddling when you’re neck-deep in shit.

You need to proactively create conditions that allow you to live happy. You need to change the question. You need to find your peace. You need to own your own life.

You need to find a reason to make good things happen.

Until you do that, everything is everything.

Consistent work, diligent effort, and patient thought always precede good things happening.  Consistency, diligence, and patience are positive, proactive behaviours fuelled by motivation, passion, and desire.  And we discover that motivation, passion, and desire when we find our reason to make good things happen. That reason is the wind in our sails, propelling us toward the everything we want to have happen. The wake only ripples across the water once the ship has sailed.

Don’t settle for believing that everything happens for a reason.’ Don’t sacrifice your future obsessing over the past. Don’t wait for something good to happen.

Tell yourself something different. Accept that you can’t know your future. Understand that a good reason can drive you to make good things happen. Let that reason be the introduction to a good future, not the conclusion to an unsatisfying past.

Now, look to your future and tell yourself this, instead:

I have a reason to make good things happen.’

That’s what my ex-co-worker did. He got up and stood up for his right. His reason is his Little Man, the Bringer of Joy and Happiness in his life. And Little Man will give my ex-co-worker countless reasons to continue making good things happen.

And one day, when Little Man is older and wiser in the ways of the world and life, he’ll realize that his father is more than just a good dad. He’ll realize that his father is also a good man. And Little Man will become a good man, too.

Because a proper human puts the people they care about first. And a parent’s love for their children always trumps the needs of the business. That’s truth.

This one’s for you, Initials.

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Several links within this essay led to songs. In case you missed them, click here for a link to the playlist. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the music. 

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The House Newf is from a rugged and beautiful island on the eastern edge of Canada called Newfoundland. He was first identified by a potter with a naturalist's flair, and he does in fact live in a house under the watchful eye of a cat that seems bewildered by the universe at large. That house is in Halifax, Nova Scotia and that's where the House Newf writes fiction and essays on things that add value to his life that may add some value to yours. You can contact him at bobharding80@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @theHouseNewf, on Instagram @thehousenewf, and like him on Facebook. The House Newf is a unique specimen. Every home should have one.