Is Free Will Real Or Is Life Predetermined By Fate & Destiny?
If you believe in fate, you might feel content in the knowledge that you'll get where you're destined to go in life.
In contrast, you might feel trapped or constrained by the idea of fate or destiny. So, do we have full control of what we do? Alternatively, is our every move already set in stone, with free will being simply an illusion?
Or is there perhaps some way to exercise some degree of free will within a partially predetermined context? If so, how might you begin to learn how to do this most effectively?
In this guide, we'll take a closer look at fate in order to try and answer these questions. We'll explore whether it's possible to have free will, consider the role played by destiny, and consider how you can use knowledge of your potential life path number to get the most from every day.
What Is Fate & Destiny?
Since you were young enough to daydream about the future, you've probably been wondering what role you're meant to play in the world and using “Why am I here?”. This is what we mean by fate – your fate is simply your purpose in life. But is fate real?
There is plenty of evidence that it is, as human beings all share a drive to find a sense of purpose and experience a deep sense of satisfaction when they do.
Intuitions and gut feelings also seem to deliberately pull us toward things that help us understand ourselves and find a sense of meaning in life.
However, if fate is real, it invites the question of much control you have over your own actions.
Do We Have Free Will If Life Is Predetermined?
If you believe in fate, it might feel like you have a fully predetermined life. When asking “Do we have free will?”, however, it's important to consider that fate can exist alongside genuine freedom.
In particular, while the universe may have certain particular things in store for you, you can still make choices that constantly change what your future looks like.
For example, suppose that your life's purpose is to care for others. By making certain choices, you might fulfill this destiny by becoming a parent of a large family.
By making other choices, you might satisfy your purpose by becoming a doctor, or a therapist, or a police officer. So, try to think of your fate or destiny as providing a broad template for your life, which you can then color in as you see fit.
In other words, there is no one way to fulfill your life's purpose – it's up to you to choose.
Does Destiny Affect Our Control Of Life?
Now, as noted above, it's up to you to choose how to live up to your true purpose – you can even choose not to do so at all.
This means you have full control over your life story, even if you are set on a certain path at the point of birth. However, if you know your true destiny, it stands to reason that you should try to aim for it!
After all, people who live in accordance with their purpose are happier, more successful, and more able to find meaning in life. As we'll explore later in this guide, using life path numbers and numerology is one way to uncover your destiny and use it to guide your choices.
That said, there are other tactics for taking control of your life while being mindful of your destiny. Let's look at a few of the most effective things you can do.
Start Fulfilling Your Destiny By Taking Charge
Respecting fate doesn't mean being a backseat driver! No matter how grand your destiny, you'll never achieve your full potential without actively taking control of your life. The first step, then, is to recognize your power.
Avoid the temptation to see yourself as a victim of circumstance, instead constantly looking for ways to direct your own story.
Every time you encounter a challenge, ask yourself: “What proactive things can I do here?”.
For example, if you experience a tricky breakup, don't simply decide that good relationships won't happen for you.
Instead, take active steps to meet new people, and to understand what you need from a good partnership.
Find Your Passion In Life
As well as empowering yourself to direct your own journey, it's vital to figure out what you want to direct that journey toward.
In other words, what is your big passion in life? Chances are, it will be tightly connected to your life's true purpose.
If you're not sure what your passion is, try making a list of ten things that matter to you, and look for commonalities.
For example, if your list includes “freedom”, “creativity” and “self-awareness”, perhaps your passion is writing or the arts.
In contrast, if you write down “peace” and “harmony”, perhaps you will find your passion for meditation or spiritual pursuits.
Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
We all have an inner critic whose voice holds us back. It tells us that we're not good enough, points out our perceived weaknesses, and stops us from taking the kinds of risks required to find our real purpose.
As such, growing into your destiny requires banishing these limiting beliefs. One way to do this is by writing down the negative beliefs you have about yourself and writing a challenging reply.
For example, if one of your limiting beliefs is “I'm not assertive enough to get ahead”, you can write the reply “I'm considerate and kind, but I can speak out respectfully in order to get the things I need.”
Create Life Goals
To take charge of your life, even more, start filling out your picture of what you want it to look like. Make your goals concrete, and try to work out a rough timeline for meeting them.
It's common to find big goals intimidating, so avoid procrastination and anxiety by breaking your large goals into smaller ones.
So, if you have the goal “Start my own business”, you might break it down into sub-goals like “Create my own website”, “Save up X amount of money”, “Approach the bank about a loan”, etc. And remember, even those sub-goals can be broken up into even smaller goals!
Discover A Better Self-Understanding
The more you understand yourself, the better you'll understand your destiny and how to achieve it in a way that would make you happy. There are lots of things you can to boost self-knowledge.
One is keeping a daily journal in which you're totally honest about your feelings and thoughts. Another is sticking to a daily mindfulness practice that helps you better focus on the present and makes sense of your immediate experiences.
Further, when life gets more complex, having a frank conversation with a therapist or even a good friend can help you improve your self-understanding in leaps and bounds.
How To Feel Free In Life
While all of the above addresses how to take control of your own destiny, you might still struggle to feel free.
The key to learning how to be free is to relax – to stop overthinking everything. Rather than trying to control every waking moment of your days, trust that in having identified a broad purpose you're generally heading in the right direction.
Life is transient and beautiful – commit to enjoying it all you can, while you can.
How To Stop Overthinking
Of course, it's easy to tell someone else to stop overthinking, and much harder to put this into practice in your own life.
Firstly, know the signs that you're overthinking. They include exhaustion, mental loops, trouble sleeping, a desire to self-medicate with drugs, food, or alcohol, a desire to micro-manage everything, an obsession with failure, and a lack of trust in your own judgment. If you notice these signs, it's time to try and change your thinking patterns.
One tip for doing so is to put a time limit on your thinking. For example, give yourself ten minutes to ruminate on a topic, and no more.
In addition, challenge yourself to take a wider perspective – ask yourself if you'll care about this tomorrow, next week, in a month, in a year, or in ten years.
So often, this will show you that the target of your obsessive thinking isn't really that significant. Finally, try using affirmations to calm your mind and slow your thoughts.
For example, you might say out loud “My negative thoughts do not control me. I choose to be happy, free, and empowered.” Meditation can complement such affirmations – studies show that those with a mindfulness habit are better able to regulate their own negative emotions.
What Is A Life Path Number
So, now you have some strategies for embracing freedom while nevertheless taking control of your own wider destiny.
However, as we mentioned at the outset, you're more likely to find happiness and success if you know what the universe has in store for you. This is where life path numerology and the concept of a life path number come in.
Numerology teaches us that when you were both determine your life path number, and that each possible number comes with distinct strengths and challenges.
Knowing these facts about your destiny can help you understand your purpose, as well as the barriers you need to overcome to grow into that purpose.
Once again, such numbers don't control or constrain you – they simply highlight tendencies and talents that you can use to create a more fulfilling life.
Plus, if you're struggling to figure out your fate, numerology can give valuable hints that point you in the right direction.
Discover Your Destiny With Life Path Numbers
If you're reading all this and thinking “Yes, but what is my life path number?”, the good news is that there's a quick and easy way to calculate and interpret this.
By going through our life path number guide, you can calculate your own unique number. We'll also introduce you to the key facts about each number, revealing the special skills and challenges you're likely to face.
And as it turns out, your ability to use the Law of Attraction is also influenced by numerology. As a bonus, we'll show you how to use your life path number to more effectively manifest the things you want in life.