Fate (noun): “A power that is believed to control what happens in the future.”
F- Merriam Webster Dictionary
Think about the last time something terrible or great happened to you. Did you blame or credit yourself, someone else, or something bigger? Do you believe that every terrible or great thing that happens had a purpose? Or do you believe that events occur randomly and without meaning?
These are questions we all ask after a significant event or occurrence. What it comes down to is the difference between fate and free will and how much we marry the two in our minds.
Free will (noun): “Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.”
– Merriam Webster Dictionary
By definition, fate and free will are complete opposites of one another. However, it may be possible for them to coexist; it may be that your fate depends on your free will.
I recently had a conversation about this exact topic which had me thinking, and possibly overthinking, the real difference between fate and free will. I began to analyze everything I’ve done that would imply I strongly believe in fate.
For example, I will never pick up a “lucky penny” unless it’s heads-up, solely because I’m worried it will bring me bad luck or alter my fate. This is dependent on my belief in how my free will affects my fate.
But is fate just a mindset, or do these decisions we face every day actually directly correlate to what happens to us?
Deepak Chopra took an interesting angle on this topic in a Huffington Post article entitled “I Am the Master of My Fate’ — A New Take on Free Will.” She stated, “The body is fluid and dynamic, not fixed and determined, and genes express whatever a person desires. They operate through switches that the mind can access.”
My interpretation is that your mind controls your fate. If you pick up a heads-down penny and expect something unlucky to happen to you, it most likely will because your mind is anticipating it.
Subsequently, something may happen that would seem like a random occurrence any other day, but since you picked up that penny you pay more attention, and you assume it to be fate. So what we can gather is that fate depends not only on free will, but also on the mindset you have towards those decisions.
Therefore, your fate can always be on your side, it just depends on your outlook on life. Nothing is ever in your way unless you put it there yourself.
Not only do our mindsets affect our fate, but they also affect our health.
According to Mental Health America, “Thinking negatively can drag down our moods, our actions and even our health.” The site also mentions that, “People who kept track of their gratitude once a week were more upbeat and had fewer physical complaints than others.”
So it may just be that whenever we do something positive for someone else, resulting in a more positive feeling about ourselves, it actually can improve our health. Whether you call it good karma, fate, or you don’t call it anything at all, staying positive and doing good for others has absolutely no bad consequences.
Your future is always in your hands.
Author: Megan Scavo
Photo Credits: Calvin & Hobbes, Mindset, The Future Is In Your Hands
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