To what extent do we each have free will and fate?
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Almost no one thinks about it, or wants to think about it for that matter, but it bothers me just about every day. I walk and wonder if each of my steps was predetermined.

See, I do believe in a higher power, some being greater than us, something which has laid out our stories since the beginning of time. Call me a kook. But yes, I believe that the things in our lives were written for us. It's a terrifying thought - liberating, but also somewhat cancerous.

You see, if I walk through my whole life believing that some higher power will just hand me my golden ticket, if I merely accept the things that happen to me (good and bad), then what kind of life am I living, if any at all? It doesn't seem like a very good one.

Yet I struggle. I mean, on the other hand, can we really believe that innate acts of defiance - that us going out of our way, walking down the unbeaten path, taking risks - aren't fated? To what extent do we have free will, and which extent fate? Where does one end and the other begin?

Here's the other thing I've recently called to question; Should we even want to rely on fate? Destiny has been thoroughly romanticized by storybooks and children's movies. But happy endings aren't always in the cards for us. Destiny doesn't always lead us to that winning lottery ticket, or to prince charming, or to a plaque in the hall of fame. We seem to forget that destiny can lead us somewhere we didn't want to go. So to what extent do we even want to rely on fate? Does it even matter? Can we re-write our fates?

My close friend, who has much more sanguine than I am, shared some words which comforted me, so I will share them with you now. In her belief, everyone can exercise free will to some extent, but fate determines that no matter which path we take of our free will, the destination will be the same. I suppose you could look at this bleakly, but I see it as a beautiful thing either way. In the overall sense, whatever your endpoint is, you can choose to make the most of your journey there.

I know this seems silly, many of you are probably saying, "I would never have become a musician, or a doctor, or XYZ if I hadn't pushed and pushed and worked myself to the bone." But I mean all of this in a much broader sense; Those things - going to school, traveling, working new jobs - are our acts of free will.

But it is the culmination of all our efforts - all the separate acts and paths we take - that find us at our final end point. And that's what I believe we're fated for.

I believe firmly that all these separate journeys we take should be aimed at finding ourselves happiness, and that then - no matter what - our final end, our destiny, could never truly be that bad.

So I don't wait for destiny to sweep me off my feet, I'm carving my own path. But I do believe that in doing so, in a way, I am writing my own destiny. And it is one where I'm happy.

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