Beyond Destiny

personal development stoicism Aug 16, 2021
image of woman looking out on a lake

Do you believe in destiny? I do.

I'm not alone. Several philosophical and spiritual disciplines argue that personal, interpersonal, and extrapersonal events unfold as they are meant. Many quantum physicists concur that the cosmos and everything in it are ruled by determinism.

An implication of this thinking is that Fate, what you or I experience at any given moment, is inevitable. So what of choice and free will? If Fate is just a present experience of destiny, what's the point of reflecting on or doing anything with it?

For me, it comes down to your relationship with uncertainty and agency. You can sit inert and abdicate your ability to act and simply watch the game play out. Or you can choose to embrace the unknown, engage your authority over your thoughts and actions, and play an active role in the game.

Whether life happens to you or through you is up to you.

Destiny may unfold as a sequence of fated moments, but we cannot know how those moments will reveal themselves. You can choose to play a role in the game. You can determine how to respond to each moment. Forging meaning and building identity moment to moment is a decision each of us gets to make if we trust ourselves to choose.

If we think of life as a game of cards, destiny deals the hand, but you decide how to play it. You can fold, call, raise, or go all in. How are you playing the hand you've been dealt today?


Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.

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