Have you ever heard the phrase, Everything happens for a reason? Sure you have. After someone has said it, I usually thought to myself, "What a ridiculous thing to say." It is just so easy to argue with that for so many reasons. But yesterday I was driving to the store to buy some speaker wire for a party that was about to start, and I was in a hurry, but I hit heavy traffic and every stoplight on the way. I was started to get stressed when I thought, "Now here is a good time to think that stupid airhead belief."
So I did. I started imagining that somehow things would turn out perfectly because I was being delayed. And it relaxed me. There was nothing I could have done about the situation and stressing out would have only hurt me and maybe made me do something stupid in traffic, so it actually helped. It was practical.
But it is only a practical thing to think when you can't do anything about your situation. If you use that phrase at other times, you are being a helpless victim or a foolish wishful thinker and ought to be spanked.
It is like any other tool in your mental toolbox: It is good for some situations and not good for others. Use the right tool for the right job and it works like a charm. Use the wrong tool and you can really mess things up.
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.