The Way We See Things


For a lot of things, I am a firm believer in both the phrases “everything happens for a reason” and “if it’s meant to be, it’ll be.” I also feel like if you give these phrases too much weight, you’re allowing them to dictate the end scenario much more than they should. There’s a difference between being complacent and accepting an outcome, versus accepting an outcome but then seeing what you can do better next time around. I believe it’s important to take responsibilities for your actions and acknowledge when one can do better.

I fully believe word choice and the way we choose to say things have a huge impact. In a previous post, I mentioned the phrase “New Year’s resolutions” and how the word “resolution” holds a lot of pressure without setting a clear goal in mind. The opposite can be said for the phrase “if it’s meant to be, it’ll be.” I feel like this phrase relinquishes a lot of responsibility and sets up a situation with a definitive outcome. For example, if I apply for a scholarship or a grant and I don’t receive it, my mentality towards the situation might be “everything happens for a reason.” But that mentality can also be filled with discouragement and not wanting to apply again. This phrase usually comes with a bunch or reasons on why you weren’t selected and it can make us feel doubtful of ourselves.

Instead of thinking of all the reasons something didn’t go the way we plan, or making excuses on why you didn’t get selected, focus on what you can control and improve. Be proactive and continue to apply to other opportunities instead of letting fate decide where you are supposed to be.

I will say that “everything happens for a reason” has brought me a lot of peace of mind in the moments I’ve needed it the most—although they were specifically moments that I couldn’t control. The times that these phrases have brought me peace were in family sicknesses, deaths, and other scenarios that are hard to rationalize. Don’t get me wrong, peace of mind is important. But so is taking control of parts of your life and where you want to go

Scarlett Cortez is a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

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