Struggling to believe everything happens for a reason? Read this now…

everything happens for a reason

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? Read on….

You know that expression, “The more things change, the more they stay the same?” Well, Aristotle said it first. In his own particular words and way.

Aristotle (one of my personal favorite philosophers) believed that the universe is in a state of constant motion – always changing, always evolving.

However, at the same time, there is one thing that always remains a constant in everything – what Aristotle called “entelechy” – which he defined as your “unique-to-you highest potential.”

Aristotle believed that everything on this planet possesses its own “entelechy” – or as he explained it, “having the ability to grow into one’s highest potential stored within it.”

Entelechy is a vital force that motivates and guides an organism toward its highest self-fulfillment.

Consider the mighty oak tree. Its journey to mighty greatness begins with a small acorn seed.

Of course, the seed has to go through certain changes and stages of development in order to reach its full potential. But the potential is a constant: to become an oak tree.

You will never see an acorn become a petunia plant, an umbrella or a pizza.

According to Aristotle, there is always a reason for everything that happens. Your experiences are designed to shape you, define you and, hopefully, grow you into the mightiest you possible.

 everything happens for a reasonAgain, let’s consider the mighty oak tree.

When a storm hits it, the mighty oak is meant to grow into an even mightier oak – that is if the mighty oak intuitively bends to endure those stormy winds – and thereby grows stronger trunks and stronger branches.

Yep – the storm is actually in the long run the best thing to happen to a mighty oak – because it helps the mighty oak to grow into its highest possible mightiest potential.

You too can use adversity to grow into your mightiest self.


You can tap into what Aristotle called nous poetikos – which roughly translates as “conscious insight” –  a unique-to-humans awesome perk – which if you choose to consciously tap into it will empower you to grow into your mightiest self.

Basically, with “conscious insight” you will find that you’re able to see why and how to bend with stormy winds – instead of angrily resisting the things that life is blowing at you!

For example…

You know that nasty break up you endured? You can choose to lovingly rename the experience “The break up that led to the breakdown that led to the breakthrough!”

In other words, what may have at first seemed deflating, frustrating or painful can be experienced with conscious insight as an empowering growth opportunity breakthrough.

According to Aristotle, there is a reason for everything which happens to you on your journey. It is to offer you special miracle-grow-insights to help you rise up stronger and higher as your mightiest self.

everything happens for a reasonSo here’s the great news:

You are on your way to a happier life if you consistently choose to tap into “conscious insight” – and keep your purpose for being on this planet in mind — which is to tap into your “entelechy” – and become your mightiest potential.

Of course, when things are going badly, there is always a tempting urge to shut down and shut off, to give in and give up, to get bitter, resentful, angry, spiteful, depressed, self-destructive and antisocial – all before breakfast!

When I’m tempted to shut down, I think of a horror movie I once saw with unconscious, soulless zombies – all miserably going around taking bites out of all the happy, alive, soulful people.

One bite – and the conscious, soulful people would become unconscious, soulless zombies too! I think about this – then make a conscious choice not to become an unconscious soulless zombie just because I’ve been bitten by an unconscious soulless zombie!

Basically… the only way to survive becoming an unconscious soulless zombie after being bitten by one is to use “conscious insight” to resist this happening – and emphatically look for the gain in your pain – your empowering growth opportunity! Yes, to become your highest, mightiest self, you must choose “conscious insight” and steadfastly choose to focus on the lessons being taught to you about how to grow into your mightiest most-loving, true-to-your-soul’s-highest-potential self.


Bad things—and bad people—happen to everyone on this planet.


You cannot control much of what happens in life. Life is a lively fusion of free will merged with destiny.


Free will gives you the choice to tap into conscious insight and become your mightiest self. With it, you can choose to morph all your pain into all your gain and make your tormentors your mentors—turning all your struggles into valuable lessons that help you grow strong.

So when times get tough, think of Aristotle. And don’t forget those zombies too! “Conscious insight” is the most powerful miracle growth formula you have to nurture your inner seed for your highest potential growth. Believe in your inner entelechy—and believe in your soul’s unique path—and you will find yourself growing into your mightiest, most awesome self!

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Written by Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
  • Laura Probert

    Love this, thanks!

    • notsalmon

      Thanks! Happy you enjoyed!

  • Janet McQuarrie

    Great, simple, clear teaching points! Thank you for teaching me the new term, “entelechy”, as well. I plan to stay conscious of making room for “conscious insight” throughout my day today. Love it!

    • notsalmon

      I love collecting new words! Happy this word “entelechy” resonated with you just as much as it did with me! 🙂

  • Lizzy

    I came across this site a week ago and just now that I was able to read through almost all of the articles. I am so overwhelmed by all of them. Your articles are very uplifting..brings enthusiasm to myself as I am in a downside of life right now. But somehow, something has brought me here. Now I am starting to look at life as positive as it can be and leave those negative thoughts behind. I know everything has a reason..and that reason I know will be best for me. Thank you for your inspiring words.

    • notsalmon

      Thanks so much for this kind note! Im happy you’re enjoying my essays! I hope they brings you insights, peace and faith! I hope you continue to faith forward – with meaning and purpose and growth!

  • Heather Danielle Jarrett

    An example of a recent hardship in my life that I chose to take a positive outlook on is a water crisis my area has been going through for several days. In West Virginia ( I live in Charleston) last Thursday a chemical spill occurred wherein the chemical made its way into one of the major water systems. Hours after the spill the report came out that the spill had occurred and costumers of West Virginia American Water would follow a “DO NOT USE” order. 9 counties and somewhere around 300,000 people were affected (some are still under the do not use order, flushing toilets is the only advised use for the affected water)

    Being in the capital city I was lucky to be in one of the first few zones to flush our pipes and “hopefully” be clear and have safe, usable water. For my significant other, two young children, and myself the experience was more of an inconvenience than anything else. Not being able to bathe, wash clothes or dishes, drink the water, or prepare foods with it. Living off frozen tv meals and appetizers, using plastic ware and paper plates, and not smelling great was our norm during this ordeal. Schools were and are still closed so my kindergartner got quite antsy being stuck inside for so long. But, we were really fine, many had a much harder time than us with infants needing formula, and elderly needing water for certain health type machines and much more.

    HOWEVER, I decided, and posted via my blogs facebook page, that I was going to view this entire experience as a positive. For a couple of reasons, one being that I learned the strength and fortitude of myself and my family. The children did fabulously listening and understanding that they couldn’t get their own tap water, and dealing with frozen foods when they are not used to it. More than that though, I feel it is a, very small, peek into what those in other countries go through that have no available clean, safe, drinking water. The risks they face in using ground water, and the precautions they must take if they can in their everyday lives. And even still so much illness occurs because they don’t have the luxury that I do of having clean water at their disposal. I always cared, and had a heart for those across the world suffering without such an essential part of life, but now I have a slightly deeper understanding. I acknowledge I in no way experienced even a 10th of what those people do, but it at least gave me more insight than I had prior and for that I am grateful to have gone through this. I hope others affected here take the same away from this. thank you for your blog, with all the bad things we read about I always enjoy finding new inspiring uplifting content 🙂

    • Debbie Bender

      I just re-read this article via Facebook and came across your comment. I, too, live in Charleston and tried to maintain the same kind of outlook. In fact, my initial reactions to the chaos that first night with people fighting over bottled water was to remind myself and those around me that even though this should never have happened, we are fortunate to have daily access to clean water. That is something so many people around the world don’t have. Below is part of something I posted on Facebook a day after the chemical spill….

      “So, it’s been just over a day since this fiasco began and people are already complaining about not being able to bathe, etc….Seriously, what are you people doing that you’re so stinky already?! lol Have you never been camping or “roughing it” of any kind? Get over yourselves and deal with it. The world is not coming to an end. We’ll get through this. Yes, it’s frustrating, and damn inconvenient, but there are millions of people without access to potable water every day. I think we can all manage for a while. Besides, there are people on water systems other than West Virginia American Water close by that have clean water. So there are places to go shower. Yes, inconvenient, but just how important is getting a shower to you?….if it’s important, you’ll be patient and stand in line, if necessary; or make a trip to a friend’s house. If you don’t want to do either of those, suck it up and deal with not bathing.

      Of course, my comments apply to those that are able to get out on their own. My concern is for the elderly or ill that can’t get out to get water. Making sure hospitals, nursing homes, etc., have access to water. Also making sure all our animals have clean drinking water too.

      Anyway, that was my rant! I’m glad people mostly are chipping in and helping each other. My neighbor had been out and picked up water and brought my mom a couple gallons and 2 cases and wanted nothing in return! (of course we gave her something anyway) So sweet!!”

      I choose to see the positive in that West Virginians came together and helped each other, and are still helping!

      Karen: THANK YOU for all your wonderful, inspiring posts!

  • Eye

    Karen, i have purchased your ebook and have read this there. I am so thankful for the opportunity that led me to your book which as of now is my bible because of the Prince harming hubby I have chosen to live with it. I may have stumbled on your book too late because I have already married this guy but it is never too late for me to pull out this entelechy and, dammit, be happy too.

    • notsalmon

      It’s never too late … In the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald — ‘I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.’ Stay strong!

  • peach

    Very encouraging. Adoptees take heed.

  • Saiesh Kamath

    Hey, Karen!

    Your teachings are mostly in sync with that of “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne! Please check it out!

  • Scott Alan Kinsey

    And from Euripides: “There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change.” Thank you for this helpful article.

    • notsalmon

      I too LOVE that Euripides quotes! I even designed a poster for his words! Thanks for sharing here – and happy you enjoyed this essay!

  • Maree Walsh

    I’m reading this article via FB and it is as it was written just for me. I’ve had so many trial in my lifetime, sometimes I wonder what is life all about. It seems my desire to make the force of love be by guide has cost be great pain. But my nature as it stands now is to continue to always make love, gratitude, and forgiveness be my guiding force. I know each bitter lesson I’ve learned in life is a part of my journey towards becoming my higher self. I’m going through the fire right now and I will be refined and well polished on the other side. This article is right on time and I’m thankful and grateful for the wisdom.

  • Anonymous Pete

    There’s definitely a reason for everything but you have to look at it from a scientific approach and these reasons have to be related to science in some way, shape, or form. You can’t try to reason why I didn’t wake up on time or why so and so did this, those are stupid things to even ponder about.

    But if you try to understand why the sky is blue or why certain people are born a certain way…you can probably suffice it to say that there is some kind of explanation. I don’t like it when people say “Things just happen” because in reality they don’t, but it’s what is worth trying to understand. We are human beings so we tend to over analyze everything….which is good but when it comes to nature sometimes there isn’t a clear answer.

  • Mike

    Hi my name is Michael and I can vouch that is philosophy is true, a few months back I was heartbroken after the relationship with my ex went sour, at the same time, I lost my job, couldn’t get work for months and ended up in a really bad financial situation, I was at such a low point in my life that I honestly contemplated suicidanyways fast forward a few months and I still can’t believe what is happening in my life right now, I thought last year was the best year of my life before the breakup but now my life seems ten times better! I ended up getting a better job then I expected, moved to Singapore and met some awesome people, joined a footie club where il be playing international teams during per season tours, managing million dollar projects at work, was asked to join a business where I can earn a lot of money on the side, and my health and fitness seems to be skyrocketing and getting better each week. so folks my advice is from personal experience is ” when bad things or adversity strikes take the pain and just keep going no matter what, you will get through it and when you come out the other end and look back you will be stronger and wiser then you ever imagined!

    Keep the faith the universe has a better plan in place for you 🙂

  • Madhu J

    I am worrying these days and feel my career had stopped at the current point. Although I have come this far by struggle with my family financial disturbances and unawareness since childhood. Now I realize that the main thing that makes me worry is because I am like a bitten zombie giving my dreams into the ‘Active Laziness’. Thanks for the Article NotSolmon, really very worth reading it. Now I can foresee my ‘entelechy’ and concentrate more on myself rather worrying.

  • Debra McDonald

    Many years ago, I had this “revelation”, and once I accepted it, my life became so much better, and I became so much more peaceful. I had a really tough childhood, I was sexually abused from 4 to 16 by 4 different men. My mother was emotionally abusive, and I had strong abandonment issues, I did not know my father, I married a man who was emotionally distant and emotionally abusive, who sexually abused our daughters. And I would not change a thing, I have no regrets. I realized that all of it, the good the bad and the very ugly went into “creating in me the person I was created to be”. I

  • Clare

    Hi I am Clare, I did believe everything happens for a reason, but have been struggling lately to find a reason behind all the suffering we have in the world today in third world countries etc. I agree that it makes people stronger and those situations being our different values in life to those suffering but find it hard to find a divine reason as to why some are both into lives of such suffering? What purpose does this serve?

  • Angels Goal Inc.

    Love the unconscious soulless zombies analogy!

    • notsalmon

      Thanks so much! 🙂 I’ve taken that analogy and written a separate blog essay just on that – it’s great for sharing with kids. It’s on the side bar of my top blogs if you want to check it out! Big hug!

  • I survived a stroke at 40, 15 months ago, but I’m very changed, both physically & perspective-wise. I just recently started a blog…in case anyone is interested:

    I loved this article Karen Salmansohn, thank you!! X

    • notsalmon

      Wow – you are awesome and inspiring Raina!! Im personally inspired by you! Thanks for sharing!! Write to me privately too – if you get this note back here! xxoo

      • I would love to! I will try you from the “Contact” page/form.
        Thanks! What an uplifting way to start today!!!! 🙂

  • GuestUser

    most inspiring and helpful article I’ve read in a very long time, it really made sense!! 🙂

    • notsalmon

      Thanks so much! Happy it resonated! xo

  • shattered_soul

    2 mths ago my ex dumped me for another gal tad he had been chatting with n seeing while claiming to b single since January. He also had cheated on me with his ex on 2 occasions n also had been texting her asking her out etc. While all this was going on, he had given me hopes on moving in together once I transfered back(I work in a different state n it was a long distance rship but v meet eachother 1x a mth) n eventually getting married etc. I uprooted my career from a place I was doing really well (im a doctor) n 1 week before my transfer he ditched me for good. I was devastated n slowly I found out that everything he had told me abt himself was a lie n he might likely be a sociopath(his own aunty had actually told me tad he had lied to me abt owning n buying hses etc n apologised on his behalf n told me tad I deserve someone better). But somehow even after knowing abt his true colours, I still end up succumbing into cycles of regret n self blame (throughout n after the rship he always blamed me for everythg) n im haunted by nightmares every single night. And to top it off, at my current hospital im attached to a dept with no future n not my interested field n im at my lowest point of my life right now. I still love him n I feel completely empty emotionally n sexually to start feeling for others. I cant trust anyone anymore. My career’s going nowhere. I have thought of suicide many times n more frequently now. Everybody told me everythg happened for a reason but I just cant see it 🙁

    • Agneza

      Don’t give up, who knows what, something WILL happen… A GOOD thing… just wait, you will see.
      I myself struggle but we are stronger than these cheaters… they don’t deserve us. .. they are NOT able to come up to our levels and we will not go down to theirs, anymore.
      Stand up and go… keep going…We will be OK.

      • notsalmon

        You are so kind Agneza – thanks for sharing this encouragement! xo

    • notsalmon

      It sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot right now- and like a lot of challenges have happened at once. I call this “Vortex” – and I’ve had my particular version – and empathize from a place of true knowing. Please focus on the lessons you were meant to learn – perhaps about staying true to who you are at your core – and listening to your intuition when it whispers. These 2 lessons are ones I personally have had to learn – and it seems like they might resonate with you – but of course I do not know enough from simply reading this comment of yours. If you’re considering suicide I encourage you to talk to a professional therapist – please seek support!! I encourage this in a huge way! Stay strong! Surround yourself with people you trust!! Please let me know how you are doing!

  • Imran Nabi

    First article of your’s which i read and it was just what the doctor ordered on a lackadaisical Saturday morning…thank you Karen for the much needed inspiration.

    • notsalmon

      Thanks so much Imran! Happy you enjoyed!

  • LucidGal

    Alphonse Karr said that, not Aristotle. What we all want is to believe our short lives matter so we tell ourselves there’s a reason for what happens when in fact it’s all random. That”s not as satisfying as fairy tales, I realize.

    • notsalmon

      I wasn’t sure at first what you were referring to when you said Alphonse Karr said something -so I did some googling! You mean what I wrote at the top – that the more things change the more they remain the same. What I meant when I said Aristotle said it first – is he did say it first – because Aristotle was born in the 300’s BC – and Aphonse Karr was born in the 1800’s. Aristotle as I mention in this essay said it in his own particular way. I love it when different people from different times concur on ideas! It just shows the universality of the idea! Aristotle has said a lot of things which others have later also said. Aristotle also said to begin with the ends in mind- and later the brilliant Steve Covey also wrote about the power of beginning this way as well – aiming at towards what you want for your final ends at the very start – and in the middle to keep you on track. Anyway – I will read up more on Alphonse Karr – he seems like someone else Id love to read. Thanks for sharing about him!

      • LucidGal

        Aristotle didn’t say it. When you put quotations around something, it needs to be the exact citation.

        • notsalmon

          Hi Again – I agree with you that Aristotle didnt say these exact specific words. I’ve expressed this in my essay by saying how Aristotle said it in his own way – and said it first – because he was born in the 300’s BC. ….. My essay states “Well, Aristotle said it first. In his own particular words and way. Aristotle(one of my personal favorite philosophers)believed that the universe is in a state of constant motion – always changing, always evolving. However, at the same time, there is one thing that always remains a constant in everything – what Aristotle called “entelechy” – which he defined as your “unique-to-you highest potential.” 🙂

  • Cris Hamilton

    I don’t really agree with you or Aristotle but I would like to. The love of my life has left to find herself and it appears whatever she finds it will not be US. We were together 16 years and married 12. At the moment we are very good FRIENDS because that’s the only way she wants a relationship. I still love her more than anyone so I’m trying to cope but the more I try it seems the more it will never be anything other than friendship. The problem was a 50-50 thing from her standpoint but I feel it was mostly mine – she doesn’t accept that. We are both on our 3rd marriage and without any doubt this is the women I want to spend the rest of my life with. We both are going to counselors to work on our personal problems with ourselves. She is my life, my love and the only. I’m by no means suicidal so I will exist. We have been living separately for a year and been “separate” for several months before that and it seems that’s what it is going to be. She tells me she still loves and cares for me but not intimately and wants me to have a life and be happy. So, I guess I’m still waiting for the breakthrough. What happens if it never comes? Many daily prayers for the last year and half were never answered so no help there either.

    • LovelyRedd

      Your prayers are being answered. She may not be the one for you. The universe has something better in store for you.

    • Eve

      It can take a while to heal. Please know that the love of my life left in 2011 & filed for divorce after 37 years of marriage/raising a family & creating a life together. It has been hard for me to recover but I am farther along the road now than I was in 2011 or 2012.

  • Mandy

    I’m not here for study reasons. I came across this sight searching for a meaning to believe that everything might happen for a reason.
    And I just have to say that it’s all very well written and I just LOVE the oak Tree comparison. That an acorn never will become like a pizza or something. That was exactly what I needed! Thank you

  • Annette

    I picked up your book – Happy Dammit – and loved it. I’ve re-read many times and was thrilled to find Seven Sins. I thought I was the only one that thinks in circles like that – “which gets me to” – I have shared them with lots of people that I thought might need to “reboot” their thinking process – that’s usually when I use them. I have been reading through your blog/website and have really enjoyed the artwork. Sometimes I get stuck; and the emotions take some time to “percolate” to my consciousness – so that I can take a good look at what’s going on. Today I need the happy and bright colours of your website. Thank you so much for being here!

  • Christine

    I am learning so much from you! Thank you for sharing courage and happiness! 😀
    (I want to subscribe but there seems to be an error with the ‘Gimme’ button?)

  • sarvesh

    As I woke this morning I laid on my bed and gathered my thoughts as I do normally.. it came to me ‘why do things happen for a reason’. When I googled it it brought me to your sight, upon reading this I have realised my inner conscious wanted me to remind myself that life is exactly the way you put it and never to give up or lose hope. 🙂 thank you for your warm words to life. Sarvesh.

  • Tracey Griser

    Finally someone understands my way of thinking! 🙂 I just couldn’t explain it that well! Thank you!

  • Eve

    thank you for posting! Often in New Thought/Science of Mind Ki here folks taking too much responsibility for the things that happen to them. Shit happens and the trick is to transform it into organic fertilizer via composting it! Just an analogy! I like to garden! 🙂

  • Richard A. Wheeler

    It is uncanny how on-time reading this essay is for me. I separated from my partner of 6 years recently. I married my partner while I was still in college. The fear I had most was being on my own; I never had a chance to do adult things on my own like shopping for apartments or budgeting. My partner took care of all that. So when he brought up divorce I instantly went into panic mode. I was in denial for a week, doing extra things to try to make him happy and change his mind. But after I saw the benefit in splitting up, I tapped into my conscious insight and accepted it as reality.

    Now more so than ever I see the validity in the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” Now is my season of change as I move towards being an independent adult.

  • Duh

    Thanks for the pick up Rocky! Now use some of that and get over the ass wopping Clubber Lane put on you! Think I’ll pass on the footie club!

  • Love the analogy of nurturing your inner seeds of potential with a miracle growth formula. 🙂 It’s possible to transform pain into positive gain, no matter how hard it may seem. I’ve been doing that since losing close family members over the past 5 years, and I started my own positive blog to help bring out the light in even the darkest situations. There’s always a light, and maybe that light is what Aristotle called entelechy. Thanks for all of the beautiful work you do! You’re such an inspiration. XO Jen