“I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.” — Nelson Mandela
Does a preordained power exist that we call destiny or fate control both the nature of the events that occur in our our lives and the resulting planned or spontaneous actions we take?
Contrary to popular belief…there is not!
If that is indeed the case, then what is this thing called fatalism and what role does it play in our lives?
Fatalism is a belief that … stuff happens and we have no choice but to accept the outcome of events.
Fatalism is a doctrine that stresses the complete control of all events or actions to fate or destiny, and is commonly associated with resignation, acceptance, conformity, concession and submission.
Those who embrace fatalism believe that bad events cannot be avoided…and they are powerless to change the future.
In my book…fatalism is a false, misleading, dangerous and manipulative premise.
What will be is not necessarily what must be!
“The Greek idea of fate is moira, which means “portion.” Fate rules a portion of your life. But there is more to life than just fate. There is also genetics, environment, economics, and so on. So it’s not all written in the book before you get here, such that you don’t have to do anything. That’s fatalism.” — James Hillman
Fatalism is a tool of the weak, lazy and for those inflicted with a courage deficit … it’s their way of giving up, surrendering freedoms and accepting the inevitable (without putting up a fight).
THE AWESOME POWER OF SELF-DETERMINATION
If fatalism does in fact exist, then how much responsibility must we accept for our lives?
It’s easy and convenient to believe that bad things happen to us like disease, failure or rejection…and that we have no control over the cause, nor the effect.
We also find it easy to blame the economy, and the teacher and the politicians for every door that isn’t open in our lives.
But the truth is…
We have far more power, influence and control over ourselves and our futures than we want to acknowledge.
The power to make choices about what we eat…who we hang out with…how and when we exercise…where we invest our money and our time…and how we balance the short term with the long.
To take full responsibility for your life requires that you fully denounce fatalism.
That’s right…kick it to the curb, back over it and say adios to this whopper of a lie. It’s another piece of useless propaganda that has been repeated, recycled and reinforced throughout your life.
You are a transformative being with extraordinary power to bring about any change you desire.
Choose hope over fear. Choose to see the future not as something out of your control, but as something you can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort.
If you’re going to surrender anything…surrender the belief that fatalism is your destiny, and that there’s no reason to fight for what you want.
Great heart…along with an unbreakable will and an indomitable spirit will not be denied victory.
That’s why if you have plans on initiating change and making big things happen…
You must learn to enforce your will over any problem or resistance force.
WILLPOWER IS A SUPERPOWER
It’s an undeniable declaration that you are going to succeed…
It’s the ability to give yourself a command and then to enforce that command.
All strength, growth, change and maturity is the byproduct of willpower.
There is no command as great, nor any words as powerful as the words “I WILL.”
There is strength, conviction, depth, solidarity, decision, focus, confidence, and sheer determination in the loud, ringing tone which punctuates their delivery.
The words “I WILL” send an advance message to your mind and to those within earshot.
It’s a message of triumph over adversity.
It’s a message of the strength, commitment and personal constitution to persevere until the end.
- I will change my life.
- I will lose this weight and get in excellent physical shape.
- I will be financially independent and debt-free.
- I will set the right example and raise excellent kids.
- I will get through this better, stronger and smarter.
- I will not be surrender my freedom to anyone or any party.
- I will be the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.
Without the ongoing enforcement of your will…
The most complete collection of talents, the best education money can buy and the most honorable intentions in the world are wholly worthless.
We all know that no freak occurrence will provide a second swing at the bat, a mulligan, a do-over.
We know it, but we too often hide it like a bad conscience.
- What is it that compels people to be fearful?
- Why do they choose to avoid conflict and confrontation?
- Why do people allow fear to determine their fate?
- Why do the majority give up on their dreams, surrender to the slightest resistance, suck their thumbs, and look for someone or something to blame rather than enforce their will and persevere?
For many…it is the result of character deformities and defects.
The desire for safety.
The inclination to play it safe.
And, the temptation to remain in their comfort is a telltale sign of weakness…a gross ugly character flaw.
The fact is…
You are given certain tests and temptations…hoops to jump through…bars to jump over…and obstacles to bulldoze through to demonstrate how badly you want to achieve or protect something.
Your response to any resistance force or authority figure reveals the strength and determination of your character or exposes your character weaknesses…
And, precisely because behavior never lies, it’s easy to spot those who bought into the fatalism doctrine and found a convenient excuse, and those who found a way to confront, overcome and carry on.
I’ll leave you with this thought…
In one of his first interviews after having spent 27 years in jail at the brutal Robben Island Prison in Cape Town, South Africa…
Nelson Mandela was asked how he survived and what he wanted to say to those who imprisoned him.
Without missing a beat, he said…
“I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.”
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