Discover more from Weekend Wisdom - Dan Isaacman
Are You Living On Purpose?
Fate, Faith and Destiny
Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you - Jim Carrey
The Will to Fulfill
Do you have a sense that you are living to fulfil your destiny?
There is a long-standing argument about free-will versus destiny, but why do we not see the benefit of believing in both ideas simultaneously?
Fate as a Tool to Lower Stress
Having a sense of destiny has a calming effect on common anxieties and obsessive compulsions.
If you want to reduce the chaos of your world, fate can be a handy tool for calming your mind.
If you stop to think about all the things that could go wrong in the coming moment, you might feel overcome with anxiety.
The building could collapse, your computer could explode, a meteor could hit the earth, and on, and on.
However, if you have a sense of fate, you trust that you are here on purpose. If something terrible were to happen, then so be it. There would likely be valuable to learn from the experience.
The Book "The Alchemist" is an excellent example of the concept. The book emphasised a theme surrounding the word "Maktub" (Directly translated as "it is written"). The book challenges this idea of fate and our ability to choose and change our destiny, portrayed in a beautiful story.
The protagonist has the free will to explore his legend, choose a path, and shape his destiny. However the other characters manage their anxieties using their faith that everything is how it should be.
"No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it (Alchemist page 158–9)."
Faith Keeps you Pushing On.
Suppose the great characters and figures we now credit for many of our most significant breakthroughs like Einstein, and Leonardi DaVinci did not live. Would the world as we know it today be a radically different place?
What was it that motivated them to pursue the lofty goals of discovering the nature of the known universe through mathematics and science?
Maybe they loved the pursuit. Perhaps these historical figures were naturally gifted, maybe their parents were very pushy and gave them specific psychological tools that allowed them to achieve such great results…
It is easy to look at the great scientists and imagine a logically smooth trajectory of upbringing, career, works and death and view a linear pattern from beginning to end.
But is it that simple?
Not only did they have to struggle to get their work recognised and received, but if you think about it, there must have been trying times during the lives of these people.
Life events would have indeed occurred that may have stopped them in their tracks. Disputes and feuds may have interrupted their focus as they succumbed to all the psychological laws of human of nature that we all do.
What was it that kept them pushing through the tough times when they wanted to give up when no-one believed in their work?
What is it that kept these people on track?
They all had some faith.
I'm not talking specifically about religious faith or life after death.
Faith interpreted as a sense of greater intention.
The idea that each of us has a destiny, that if we choose to follow and create our fate, we are fulfilling our ultimate purpose.
If you are working on what you believe to be your life's purpose, you feel fulfilled. When you go against your life purpose, you do not feel fulfilled.
This feeling of being on-purpose is what can help you get through the hard times and welcome challenges as they inevitably come.
We will all experience failures and setbacks, but we can use faith as fuel to push through.
"Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds." -Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Driving Your Destiny
Thinking about driving a car can help us understand the concept of faith and destiny.
At any moment on the road, you could die, but you have a belief in the system of driving (and laws) that keeps you calm and level headed while cars are racing towards you at breakneck speeds.
Pedestrians are at risk, but this does not stop people from walking next to roads and crossing streets.
The only thing that keeps the pedestrian safe is some painted lines and a set of rules that drivers are supposed to abide.
The roads are even more hazardous for motorcycle riders and their passengers. They have to trust that the people on the road will obey the rules, stay in the lines, and know how to drive.
If a Motorcyclist did not have this sense of faith, they would surely not get on the road in the first place, and if they did, they would be scared to death at every moment.
As a driver, you have multiple options on what roads you will follow to get to your destination.
You select a suitable path so that you can purposefully get where you are going.
You have a destination in mind, and you choose the route you will use to get there.