Your decisions and choices make your destiny. Always!
My son and I had an interesting discussion last evening. He said that he could not get himself to accept that Life was pre-ordained. He has a point. Life is at one level very mystical, very inscrutable. At another level, if you review your Life so far, all your past actions have seeded your present. What you do today creates your future. So, if there is a destiny, surely there is a role you – through your actions, choices and decisions – play in shaping it uniquely for yourself. Even so, you can only understand this truism in retrospect. You can only, as Steve Jobs famously said, connect the dots backwards. And irrespective of where you find yourself, in whatever circumstance, whatever has happened, whatever is happening and whatever will happen to you, will only make you better, stronger and more evolved.
So, in a way, this whole concept of destiny can be deemed as escapist. And yet it can be understood as inevitable. It is escapist when we try to blame our destiny for our tragic current realities. And inevitable because, whatever was to happen, alone happened irrespective of who caused it. So, instead of analyzing Life and arguing for or against pre-ordinance, the best way forward, the way to live fully, is to simply own each action and each outcome. You need not have any expectation of the outcome – as the Bhagavad Gita has said – but you can certainly own it.
Essentially, Life is simple. It means do your best in any situation. And whatever be the outcome, accept it with all humility. If it’s an outcome you wanted, be grateful. And if it’s an outcome that you did not want, and one that you dislike, still go on and accept it, welcome it and embrace it. The Life that you reflect upon is what is your destiny. Many people, through scientific and other means, will tell you about your future. You don’t have to disregard them or avoid them. Listen to them. In a tough season, their perspective could have a balmy influence. In a great season, they could be reiterating what you already know. But no one can really cause you to escape your reality, your present. And it is in this present that you can experience Life. It is in the now that your decisions get taken. It is in the now that you stumble, fall, rise and conquer. It is your now, and what you do in it, or don’t do, that shapes your destiny!