Fate vs. Free-Will: Who’s in Charge Here?
- Someone or something has predetermined what the future holds for each of us
- No individual power or control & outcomes are at the whim of outside forces
- No coincidences, everything is mysteriously planned in advance by unknown powers
- The individual consciously makes decisions impacting his or her future
- Individual control of circumstances resulting in his or her own chosen outcomes
- No coincidences, everything is the result of human action
Some contend that, before birth and while still in the spirit world, we each planned our own life path based upon what lessons we wanted to gain from our time on earth. Although you would’ve forgotten what you had chosen, you’d still find yourself with a natural, yet inexplicable, attraction to and aptitude for certain things.
The Course of Fate
We each have a fate, but luckily, destiny does not designate one set available path. We each have options as to which routes to take. For this reason, fulfilling destiny requires decision-making and action. Like navigating a maze, we have to learn to distinguish the productive routes from the dead ends. To fulfill our destiny, we must utilize our free-will in making these choices.
Destiny and free-will go hand in hand, working together. We employ free-will in meeting our destiny. Free-will allows us to make choices which shape our destiny, and fate provides the framework for which we base our actions. Fate means that we must work within the realm of our reality and ensures that we don’t steer too far off course.
Major life events are the predestined portion of life, and we arrive at these events via the usage of free-will. As we learn and grow, we adapt to those predetermined situations and in turn become more resourceful. We leverage what is available in our environment. We use free-will to shape our circumstances (good or bad) to our greatest possible advantage.
Fate shapes us, and we in turn, shape destiny. Although usually outside of personal control, factors of fate, for better or worse, make us unique and valuable. It is made up of innate characteristics we are born with as well as the situations and environment into which we are placed. Of course fate can impose limitations upon free-will as well as provide advantages. There are certain situations for which you either have no control over or, at best, very little control. Fortunately, flexibility is built into the plan.
Working Within the Framework of Fate
1. Determine the strengths & weaknesses of your fate. Your fate is the cards you were dealt so to speak and contains, but is not limited to, such things as:
Environmental factors: where you were born, your nationality, the climate.
Physical traits: intelligence, your health, your gender.
Resources available to you: money, educational/career opportunities, your family, community relations.
Demographics: societal contributions/barriers, gender opportunities.
Clarify your strengths and define your limitations in all of these areas as well as in any other areas you can think of.
2. Develop a strategy by accepting the bad & embracing the good. Possibilities have to be realized otherwise they are worthless figments of the imagination. Begin with issues you know you have control over. These would be areas of strengths. Define your advantages. Next, employ these strengths and advantages within the framework of your destiny, the areas of life you cannot control.
Free-will provides us with a manner by which to exploit the opportunities in our reality. Look for patterns. For example, is there an area that you have repeatedly been successful in or that seems to come easy to you? If so, this is most likely the area for which you should focus. The opposite also applies. Is there something which you repeatedly tend to find frustrating?
Don’t try to force something to happen. If you are routinely having the same difficulties, it is very possible that either you aren’t ready for that experience or the lesson isn’t intended for you at all. In other words, you need to stop beating a dead horse and start looking in another direction. By acknowledging your limitations and recognizing and utilizing your strengths, you instill self-confidence, maintain self-motivation and gain the trust and respect of others.
3. Prioritize, be patient & persevere. Part of strategizing is knowing when to act. Realize your readiness (or lack of). Develop skills and emotional maturity. We try to fix things, but there are certain issues that only time can repair. Accept what you cannot control, and work on changing the things you can control. For example, even if you cannot control the situation, you can control your reactions to it.
Cultivate patience. Although a single event can and often does radically alter the course of one’s life, destiny tends to take decades, if not a lifetime, to fully play out. Therefore, patience and persistence are vital prerequisites to attaining your destiny. Persevere by focusing on the journey, rather than the end results.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Mistakes teach lessons and help fulfill destiny. We shape our destiny as we learn and grow. We learn what works and what doesn’t work, maintaining healthy practices and breaking detrimental patterns.
4. Don’t Lose Sight of Your Vision. Destiny is a choice. We can choose to follow our aspirations and live to our greatest potential or not. Ultimately, your dream is your destiny. Create your dream. Life is a game. Route your courses and develop shortcuts. Every movement counts, including no movement at all. Maintain momentum. As long as you keep moving, even if you make mistakes and take wrong turns, you will eventually end up where you need to be.
The energy we draw upon- the people, places, events, interests and fears- all contribute to our own unique purpose. With intent in everything we do, we gain a good impression of our trajectory. We learn to sense and intuit what lies ahead.
Know yourself. Be authentic. You don’t need to change yourself. Your destiny is already in you.