(I also, for the record, think "No regrets" is overrated. I have about 75 1/2 million regrets in my life)Yes, I know this sounds like I'm being a pessimist, but I assure you that I'm not. The reason I think "Everything happens..." is a tired excuse is that that it's silly. Of course everything happens for a reason. But people have a tendency to rely on "fate" to provide that reason. We say to ourselves, "it doesn't make sense now, but one day life will unfold it's true meaning to me and it will all come together."
Come on, now. Everything happens for a reason, but more often than not it's the reason that we give it. One person will take a success to mean they've reached a goal, while another will take it as an indication that they should continue making even bigger goals. As romantic as it sounds to say these good and bad events are guiding you toward your destiny, I just don't think that's the case. I think that life happens, and if there is any reason behind a lot of this stuff- it's so that we will learn to grow from it. Hey, a bad thing happened when I did that. I shouldn't do that again. Good or bad things don't happen because we deserve it or because we are being guided toward our destined path of life. They happen so that we will learn to correct ourselves, and to learn to make the best of our lives. Human beings are not victims of fate, we're evolutionists. Not in a religious sense, but in the sense where we need to use the things that happen in our lives to constantly move upward and onward.
So I suppose that everything DOES, in fact, happen for a reason. But it's not to get to a final product of a life. It's to improve the methodology of the person in the driver's seat- it's meant to improve you. So I think it's time we own up to our responsibility to ourselves and learn from our lives rather than feel like they're out of our control. Learn from everything, good and bad, and progress in the direction you feel should result.
Live your life for the process and not the product.