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“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved” – William Jennings Bryan
A question that has plagued people for years is that of fate vs freewill, being the defining factor of life. The problem with believing everything to be predestined will make life seem rather pointless and futile. So is fate real? If everything is already mapped out, what would inspire change and why?
Yes, fate is real, but it is not predestined by anybody else other than us. What people generally call destiny is nothing but what they essentially end up creating unconsciously. The minute we start believing fate to be something that lies beyond our control, something that is inevitable, is when we do ourselves a grave disservice.
Life is what we make of it, and as human beings, this is where our power lies. Destiny unfolds with every thought, word, and action of ours. Although we might not get to choose the cards that life deals us with, the way we play them is all about our own freewill.
Fate vs Freewill
For some, the Universe is governed by fate, for some by freewill, and for some, it is a combination of the two. But before we jump onto the nuances of what destiny means actually and how things come into existence, let’s attempt to clarify some basic misconceptions and ideas.
○ Eyes of the Beholder
Even if we believe that our lives are indeed predestined, then the question arises: predestined by whom or what? Some people believe in God, astrology, karma, intuition, and others in absolute freewill.
No matter what one’s belief system is, life cannot move on unless it spurs on inspired action and change. Whether or not we believe in a pre-planned existence, it should not make us doubt our power of choice. There may be a million things impacting us, but what we make out of them still rests in our hands.
Not just that, we get to decide whether these beliefs of ours inspire us or terrify us. Do we use fate and the unknown as a means to challenge and motivate ourselves, or do we let it absolve us of our responsibilities?
No matter what our idea of the divine plan is, it comes into fruition only when we acknowledge the divinity within ourselves. Our role in creating our destiny is always central.
○ Cosmic Will vs Freewill
Many people say that it is the will of the cosmos that life plays out the way it does, and nothing rests in our control. The cosmic will, however, has nothing to do with our freewill.
It is the will of the cosmos that we exist, that we can think, that we can create change. However, how we create it, the things we think, and the actions we take are our own will. The cosmos does not influence that.
In fact, it is cosmic will that allows our freewill to exist, but the responsibility of exercising that will is ours alone. Universal rules like the gravitational force, the seasonal changes, etc., work as the larger will of the cosmos which are independent of the grips of freewill.
But the law of nature also demands that we as humans utilize the gift of our mental faculties to create change and define the course of life for ourselves. This is our very role as an integrated part of the Universe.
Our freewill exist because the cosmic force allows it to, and using it consciously in tandem with the energy of the Universe is what creates our destiny.
Is Fate real or is Life What We Make Of It?
Life is undoubtedly a series of choices, even if everything we plan turns out differently. The energy we create and radiate ultimately is what comes back to us and the more conscious we become of this reality, the more obvious it becomes.
○ No Room for Confusion
The question of fate being real or not is something that cannot be answered simply. The human mind is very complex, and assuming anyone theory to be the truth will inevitably be challenged by a contradictory thought.
If we assume the concept of fate to define the framework of existence, then there would be no question of the right or wrong path. No matter what path we choose to walk, whether that be against our values or our desires, it will inevitably be “correct” as per the destined plan.
However, this is a faulty belief since it encourages irresponsibility and no conscious effort on our behalf. Confusion arises because we do in fact have a CHOICE in everything. And if it really was all predestined and a supreme power was the one making all decisions, then the world would be fair and equal, which it is not.
The result of the path being right or wrong, of future outcomes, and of things working out in our favor or against it, all comes down to our own choices. Things happen not because they’re meant to be, but because of circumstances created knowingly or unknowingly through our own experiences and conditioning.
○ The Duality of Ego
It is human nature to blame things on a third party when they do not work out in our favor. When all goes according to plan and how we intended it to, we say that it is because we willed it to happen. However, when things go wrong, we immediately blame fate and take comfort in that thought.
This duality in thought is nothing but the work of the ego, and duality always leads to confusion. Without clarity of what actually authorizes a change in our lives, we will always be handing the control over to someone or something else. This is a recipe for failure.
A complete belief in the power of the self and the ability to find success and happiness on our own terms is required to experience complete freedom and growth. Any contradictory beliefs must be challenged and one must begin from the simple notion of not knowing the truth.
Only then can one stop living as per his or his assumptions and strive independently to reach their highest good and potential.
○ Hard Work Over Powers Talent
While it’s true that some people are born with certain traits and were destined to be built this way, at the same time, a conscious effort is what makes or breaks things in the end.
We say that it was predestined for some people to have an amazing life or be this talented. Whether that is the case or not, nothing is holding us back from living the same reality.
No matter what one’s destiny is or even if they’ve been dealt the best cards in life, it is all useless unless they work towards furthering those skills. On the other hand, there are countless examples of people who’ve challenged the beliefs of naysayers and succeeded in changing their so-called “destiny’ to look exactly the way they want it to!
It all ultimately narrows down to a strong sense of belief in our own abilities, more than any other external factor at work.
○The Power of Choice
“Choices are the hinges of destiny”- Pythagoras
The power of our choice is always at play, whether we acknowledge it or not. So is fate real? Even if we believe it to be real, it is powered by our choice to believe in its functionality.
Life is nothing but a series of such choices that are propelled into action through our thoughts and actions. In his seminar on “The Greatest Secret Evere- The Power of choice”, Tony Robbins defines the enormity of this understanding. Every small decision that we make is responsible for creating the journey ahead of us.
“Decisions equal destiny. If we want a new life, we have to make new choices”. History is full of examples of people who had the fierce will to rise from deadly, incurable diseases or sportsmen who broke records that were deemed impossible to break. Had they not willed these things into existence, their destinies would have looked very different because of the choices they would’ve succumbed to.
Our choice to believe in a life of abundance or scarcity, fuel this belief with meaning, and then act on it is what it takes to be the narrator of your life and not a victim.
○ The Energy Created is the Energy Received
Our concept of destiny arises from our curiosity about the future. However, we often fail to realize that we are constantly crafting this future with our present actions or “Karma”.
While the Law of Attraction rests on the belief that the energy we create and radiate into the Universe comes back to us in some form, the theory of Karma is more complex. It takes into account all our past conditioning, previous experiences, intended and unintended actions that carve out our destiny.
Even if we claim destiny to be the root cause of our good fortune or failure, the reality of the situation is nothing but an outcome of the circumstances created by our karma. Whether it is the Law of Attraction or the Theory of Karma, both are powered by conscious choice and produce the energy flow that can change our destiny.
The energy of our individual consciousness is nothing but a part of the cosmic consciousness, and therefore the power to create change is inherently within us. The truth is that fate, destiny, or this collective energy will never work for us, but in fact with us.
○ Why Life needs more than just Will or Fate
Leaving things to fate is a disservice to the life we are meant to live and exercising willpower alone is not the best way to achieve all that we wish to. As human beings, our ability to experience a passion for this life, to find our purpose in serving others, and sincerely love everything we do is the best way to create change.
We were not born into existence to pre-meditate every aspect of our reality instead of living and experiencing it. Even if we use our willpower to get things done, the purity of our intention is what matters more than the will or the outcome.
When our hearts, heads, and bodies are in alignment, our actions and choices are “right” by default. Then there is no need to question what determines the outcome because the journey itself holds greater value than the end result.
This is the fundamental truth in the law of attraction, the theory of karma, and every other such universal principle that people try and decode in order to live their best lives.
Is Life a Predestined Journey?– An Overview
“Even the person who claims everything to be predestined, and thinks he can do nothing to change it, looks before he crosses the road”- Stephen Hawking
If we were to believe in the enormity of the power that rests within us, not only would we be unbothered by the concept of “fate”, but in fact would be defying it. Everything we need to tread the life path we wish to lies in all our choices and decisions.
The fact that we’re gifted with the mental genius to determine which path is right for us and which isn’t- means that destiny has nothing to do with this decision. The energy we then create through every thought and action is what ends up creating our future.
However, the secret to life lies not in focusing on the outcome, but rather the journey. It is conscious effort, purity of intention, love, and purposeful living that add meaning to life. Everything else is only a “domino effect” of these values. Whether we believe in a creator God or in a Universal principle, the divinity of it all is born from within us.