The idea of fate is an ancient one, but Rabbi Shmuley says believing in fate instead of carving out your destiny can leave you powerless. He talks about how you can overcome your fate by taking charge of your life and meeting your goals.
Rabbi Shmuley says newspaper horoscopes and popular astrology are examples of beliefs based in fate. These common phrases are also fate-based:
"Those are the cards I was dealt."
"That's just what life handed him."
"She really got the short end of the stick!"
Rabbi Shmuley says you need to start thinking about your free will and freedom to make choices despite "what life hands us." He says fate is not empowering, and belief in fate makes us feel like we're victims of our own nature or products of our environment.
Destiny, on the other hand, is making the choice to avoid fate, Rabbi Shmuley says. "This freedom to choose is where humanity lies," he says.
Rabbi Shmuley says this idea holds true in his own life. He was a child of divorce and, as many studies suggest, adult children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves. “As a boy, I promised myself that I would not let that be my fate,” he says. “I chose concrete actions to break the cycle and to avoid the fate that statistics said would be likely for me.”
By following your destiny and putting destinations ahead of you that are of your own choosing, Rabbi Shmuley says your actions will bring you closer to your goals and you can leave behind the idea that fate is real.
"Fate results from a belief that human beings are scripted and have no choice. Destiny … is the product of a belief that we are always in control of our actions. What we become will be determined by what we do."
Published on June 29, 2008