Are our lives governed by free will or by destiny? The closer one looks at this question, the more questions it raises. One thing for sure, however, is that if you leave your life to its own devices then circumstances, situations and people will drive it in whatever direction they choose. In other words, rather than you determining what direction your life takes, it will take on whatever shape, form or pattern that destiny throws up. The question you need to ask yourself is ‘how do you want to live; as one who drives your own life, or driven by events?’
The fatalistic view that there is nothing one can do because it’s all predetermined anyway flies in the face of the question ‘why on earth do we have free will?’ If choice is not part of the equation then why have such an instrument? Observation and experience amply suggest that even if destiny is the driving force behind life, then our will, our ability to choose, is a key player in the drama we call life. If you choose to be a student of history you will see amazing feats have been achieved by those who have used their will to carve out a destiny of their choice. They have refused to let circumstances, people and events dictate their path.
There is a lesson in this for us all. Surely destiny is a marriage between free will and fate? There are clearly some things we are unable to control and there are others that through our will, we can and do change. So, rather than believing that there is very little we can do other than accept the hand that fate has dealt us, dare to become the major shareholder in your life. Dare to be the chairperson of your board, exercise what control you do have over your life. If you take no responsibility for yourself or your life then you will be defined by circumstances, people and events (see Power of Choice, Less is More and Invocation).
To ‘define’ means to understand that free will is a gift and it provides you with the opportunity for positive change. In fact, free will says to you in every moment you have a chance to make your own reality and the reality of others better. One could argue that to not exploit this gift is a crime against the self because instead of embracing the opportunity for positive change and moulding the very best destiny for oneself, the preciousness of life simply slips through ones fingers. The person who pays the most for that is you! So turn away from the habit of contributing to your own unhappiness.
Stop being a passenger in your own life. It’s time to take the wheel. You are not defined by events unless you bow to their dictates and directions. You are not defined by others either. Nothing has power over you, unless you give your power away. Decide now to be defined by your own thoughts. Create a ‘treasure trove’ in your mind of kind, compassionate thoughts and feelings for yourself and others. The more you cultivate a kind, positive, generous mind, the more it will serve you well. The more you complain, the more there is to complain about. The more you give thanks, the more appreciative and grateful you will feel. This attitude carves out a very different destiny – one of peace, joy and well-being.
Take this moment now, the one you are standing in, and decide to form a loving partnership with destiny. Understand that destiny doesn’t come to take your life from you. In fact, in collaboration with your will, it offers you countless opportunities in every moment. It’s time to take these opportunities. Your free will is a gift and an opportunity. Take it and use it!