Destiny and Fate: Some Thoughts about People and Decisions

Another philosophical post, brought about thanks to a conversation with a relative about the nature of things. After thinking on it for a while, I have some thoughts about the nature of destiny, fate and our place in it.

We live in the universe. Stunning revelation of the obvious aside, this means there’s a certain set of rules and laws that we abide by physically. There’s cause, and effect. There’s also that whole probability aspect thanks to quantum mechanics.

In essence, we live in a system where once something is set in motion, chances are it will follow a prescribed path. This path is a probability mind, as I said above there’s some weird stuff that goes on underneath atomic structures regarding predicting where something is and where something is going, and how fast it is.

won’t go into it – I’m not reciting old physics lectures about Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, when you can look it up and find out far more than I can effectively teach.

Suffice to say, there is a finite probability of things happening, and in an instant, this reduces to certainty at the moment it occurs.

So what about people? Do we follow the same rules?

Not really – life is too erratic and people too unpredictable to follow the same rules. But why? Why are we so unpredictable, compared to the world we know around us?

Consider – you know the speed of something, and where it’s going, chances are you will have a reasonable idea where it will be in x amount of time (uncertainty principle notwithstanding).

Try to apply the same logic to life, in particular, people, and you’ll find your predictions accurate, quite wrong and utterly incorrect in as many moments.

People have a capacity to make a decision. And making a decision is one of the most powerful things you can do – it is an act of will, to physically change the state of things around you. A conscious effort to manipulate the world is made by a person in a moment, based on a series of conditions both rational and irrational, and suddenly, the future is altered.

It seems insignificant to think we as a species are changing the state of things, but we are. It may be minute, and insignificant, but our actions based on thoughts and imagination can alter the world.

That’s an incredible thing to realise. Our little corner of the universe, shifting based on our thoughts, desires and emotions. Our intelligence, changing the outcome of the future in our own, little way.

What really powers our thinking when we make a decision? Because it’s never just pure rationality, nor is it pure love or lust. It’s a whirlwind process that can either happen in an instant as a reaction or after aeons of thinking and deliberation. But both arrive at the same act -a decision, an act in the world that alters the state of things.

Man trying to open door to new better world. Conceptual change, two worlds

Is that fate? Even if we have a thousand ideas, do we consistently arrive at one, time and again? If the clock was rewound, would we continue to make the same decision? And if we do, is there a greater plan, written into us by things and forces unseen, but only known on a subconscious level?

Perhaps we act and think based on connections we seldom understand. Perhaps we offer acts of kindness, or love, or compassion, based not on words and basic communication on the surface, but underneath.

Why do we extend our reach to certain people? Why do we cast ourselves in certain directions? Was it instinct, primal and written into us by a universe with far more going on than we currently understand?

I won’t be so brazen as to offer an answer – this is just a thought process – but perhaps our lives are connected in a way, and that factors into our decision making process, beneath our conscious thought.

And perhaps that’s that sensation of “right place at the right time” we feel now and then. Sometimes we seem to be at the exact moment for our lives to encounter others who can assist us or vice versa. Somehow, our decision making process brings people together who otherwise would never cross paths, and the future is forever altered.

I don’t ascribe to this though. And the main reason I don’t is that it implies there’s a correct order of things – which I don’t think is the right way of looking at life and the universe.

The idea of destiny is one that frightens me. I don’t find the idea that my life and the decisions I make fit into some grand scheme I am unaware of. It also makes us seem bigger and more important than I feel we have any right to be. But, I must confess, there have been those moments in life where somehow, everything seemed to fit into place. There are also moments where absolutely the worst outcome possible happened.

So the idea of things being connected and it being fate they occur has some pros and cons.


We make decisions based on what might happen. We imagine for a moment, our future self in a different reality, one where we try to imagine the consequences of our actions or plans. We then try to act on those, and try to bring them to reality, if we like what we see.

Or not. Sometimes they stay in our minds, locked away eternally as a potential reality we feel we cannot realise fully. An imagined, idealised version of our own destiny that we feel we could fulfil – a fate we see in the distance but never achieve.

And, conversely, we make the choices that we do, and sometimes, the reality plays out far differently than what we expect. But the important decision was that we made a choice.

And making a choice, a decision, is the most powerful thing a person can do. Because, no matter the consequence, it changes things. It changes our destiny. And it changes the world, in some small way or another.

So whenever in doubt, make a choice; just decide what should be done. Because if there’s ever doubt or concern or fear in a given instant, people have the power to do something that so far, nothing else in the universe we’ve seen  is capable of doing: Changing the future.





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