“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Hamlet.
Nothing is inherently good or bad. We just choose to assign those meanings to particular things or events.
Some people will reject this idea out of hand. They will tell you that there are some things that just are bad.
I notice that it always works this way around. You never hear that something is so good that it is obviously good.
It is always on the negative side.
We could have a major philosophical argument about this subject alone but that is not the purpose of this article.
For my own part, I believe that good and bad are choices and our emotional reactions to events are choices.
Does everything happen for a reason?
But to get back to my original question, does everything happen for a reason?
When those things that you perceive as bad happen, is it all a part of a grand plan?
Is your destiny pre-determined, with the bad times included for some purpose?
Are they there as learning experiences or to make you stronger?
In “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill say that every adversity carries within it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
I can certainly look back over my life and find occasions where this seems to be the case.
For example, I have been let go from a job and looked on it as a disaster.
But with hindsight, I can see that this made another opportunity available that I would otherwise have missed. This has happened several times.
Some of the happiest periods of my working life have come about in this way.
It can be very tempting to believe that this was meant to happen.
Is it in my stars?
I have had my ups and downs but looking at the big picture, there is a general upward trend.
Is this because I have been guided on this course?
I know that I have ended up feeling grateful for those apparent disasters.
Napoleon Hill also said that wherever you are and whatever has happened in the past, you are in the ideal position to start working towards your goal.
This can also seem plausible. A setback here and a learning experience there seem to have been the ideal preparation for what you want to do now.
But is it part of a plan?
Choosing your beliefs
Nothing is inherently true. Two people can hold exactly opposite beliefs about the same thing and both have good evidence for their beliefs.
This means that it doesn’t make sense to believe something just because it is true.
You would do better to choose your beliefs based on what works for you.
This idea that wherever you are now is the ideal place to start from to get to where you want to go certainly would certainly give you a boost.
Wouldn’t it get rid of some of your blocks? Shoot down some of your excuses?
If you always thought that something bad that happened in your childhood was holding you back, you have to let go of it.
It turns out that it was just part of your preparation for a new beginning.
Choosing this belief means that it’s all good. Whatever happened in the past was just what you needed to be able to move forward now.
What about adversity carrying the seed of something greater?
If you held that belief, how much better would you feel in the face of adversity and how much sooner would you be able to move on.
I suppose you could combine these two beliefs into “everything happens for a reason”.
Or even better, “everything happens for my ultimate benefit”.
Whether it is true or not hardly matters.
It would certainly be a powerful belief to hold.