What if this is happening not to me, but for me?

I’ve been trying to exploit the wisdom of this trite little question this week.

What if this is happening not to me, but for me?

Late on Monday night, driving home from visiting my sister, I missed my motorway exit. The missed junction added ten minutes to an already delayed journey. I hit the steering wheel in frustration and then, somewhat sarcastically, asked myself whether this curséd calamity was instead happening for me.

Once I’d calmed own, I noticed that the rest of the journey would take me through Reading, along a route I first travelled as an eleven year old schoolboy more than two decades ago. Annoyance turned to grateful nostalgia.

I’ve no idea where this ‘for you not to you’ idea came from. I first heard it on a Tim Ferriss podcast, but Jim Carrey puts it well:

And when I say, “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you,” I really don’t know if that’s true. I’m just making a conscious choice to perceive challenges as something beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way. You’ll come up with your own style—that’s part of the fun!


UPDATE: When I mentioned this idea to a friend, he nodded calmly and added: ‘Or what if every that happens is happening with you?’ After all, each of us are only superficially different expressions of the same universal consciousness, right?