What people falsely believe about destiny

If something is "destiny", how would you be able to make a choice? I’m tired of hearing people going on about “destiny”. About how they were “meant” for something, and about how something was “meant” to be.


“Meant” by who or what? And when? And why? Is everyone and everything “meant” for something? Or is it only certain situations? Are the resulting actions thereof also “meant” for something? And the resulting consequences of those actions? Etc.

How many couples head over heels in love with each other would say they’re “meant” for each other? How many times have you heard someone say this about their current infatuation?

(Hell, maybe you’ve even been in a relationship like that.)

… And then a couple of years later they break up after months of deteriorating sex and bickering over mundane problems.


It seems it’s one of those sayings that doesn’t hold up to the simplest of scrutiny or logic. Try doing some basic, reasoned questioning the next time someone talks about someone being “meant” for something.

They’re not gonna be able to provide satisfactory answers.

Why do we still seem to entertain the notion that anyone or anything can somehow be “meant” for something?

While I don’t know, I’m fairly certain the answer has a couple of components to it…

  • It’s one of those things that people say without giving it any thought. Such sayings permeate our language. (No one is being literal when they tell someone to “get bent”, either.)
  • For thousands of years, our ancestors have believed in magic and the idea of an omnipotent creator of everything, often one who made a “divine plan” for us. — Simply because they didn’t know any better.
  • It’s a deceitfully easy way of looking at the world. Because ultimately it supports the idea that we’re not in charge of our lives, and that we don’t have responsibility for our actions. 

    While there are interesting aspects to every point, we can potentially learn the most from the last one. Because it tells us about how we tend to shun responsibility in even the tiniest of ways.

    But that’s not what I meant at all!” No, of course not. But from a purely semantic standpoint, it’s actually pretty much what you’re getting at. Albeit unintentionally.

    But God gave us free will!” Sure. And Apollo could predict the future, and Thor had a magic hammer, and Noah was 950 years old when he died.

    Look. If something is predestined for anything beyond the scope of human will and control, it is, by definition, not subject to human influence. However we act towards it becomes futile and meaningless.

    All considerations about the source of “destiny” aside, if everything is “destiny”, it means we’re not in charge of our lives.

    While I do believe that there’s no inherent meaning to anything other than what makes sense to the beholder at any given time, what truly empowers us is the very appointing of said meaning. Acknowledging that there is no meaning but what we appoint to things when we make a decision, take a stand and choose a path for ourselves.

    And then, of course, we need to do it. We need to realize that there’s no sensible reason to believe that anything beyond our own, inherent human traits and nature somehow “destines” anyone for anything.

    We need to realize that we have the ability to be proactive and creative in building our lives. That we can always overcome challenges, and that we need not settle for anything or take anything for granted.

    And that very insight is true liberation.

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Here’s what REALLY makes you stronger

If you don't learn from your mistakes, how do you expect to improve yourself? Yes: I will hereby tell you what really makes you stronger. But of course, it’s not gonna be without a little background for reference…:

See, back in the 19th century, there was a profoundly cool, albeit rather eccentric man – (a Ger-man!) – by the name of Friedrich Nietzsche.

While he has since been sadly misunderstood by many, Nietzsche is generally considered one of the all-time greatest Western philosophers.

You might know him by this one catchy little omni-quoted paraphrase:

That which does not kill us only makes us stronger“.

This one quote is all over the place. But most often heard in situations where someone needs to give themselves or someone else a little pepping-up.

One might argue that the saying has been watered down. After all, if Kelly Clarkson AND Kanye West have centered songs about it (presumably after having seen it in one of those “inspirational” internet pictures), perhaps it shouldn’t exactly be considered philosophy anymore.

But more important, the saying is not entirely true.

On the contrary, one might argue that if we got stronger every time something simply didn’t kill us, by far the majority of Earth’s population would be pretty fucking amazing.

… But we’re not.

An alcoholic breaks up his home and his family drinking. He loses his job and his house, and ends up on the streets. And yet, he keeps on drinking. Because his addiction is stronger than his will.

An unemployed person sends out a standardized job application to 200 companies, of which only 10 answer him, all saying that they’re not hiring at the moment. But they’ll “keep his application and let him know if anything becomes available”… Which they don’t. And as he sends out 200 more applications, he keeps wondering why they never write him back.

Ring a bell?

And, of course, aging itself will eventually stop the regeneration of our cells, slowly withering us until our bodies finally quit. Oh, and if someone chopped off my arms and legs or injected me with HIV, I’d be facing Hell, dead or not.

(Happy times!)

Fortunately, we CAN grow stronger. But as with most other things in life, WE have to do the hard work. Meaningful growth simply doesn’t happen unless we learn from our mistakes.

If you don’t learn from your mistakes, how can you expect to improve yourself??
And furthermore: Do you want to be someone who keeps making the same mistakes over and over? Of course not. Nobody does!

What really makes you stronger, then, is to learn from your mistakes.

I’ll say it again if I have to:

What really makes you stronger is to learn from your mistakes.

However, when most people mess something up, or have something bad happen to them, they pity themselves and blame circumstances rather than prevent their problem from occurring again, – or even prepare for it!

Why is this? I see a couple of possible explanations:

1) Self-pity is a comfortable and convenient source of instant gratification — and possibly attention.

2) People are afraid of the judgment that might come from being the source of their own problems. Playing the blame game is easy and comfortable because it conveniently ignores one’s own responsibility for one’s own life.

3) Both of the above are way easier than to get one’s act together and do some focused, proactive work.

When we learn from our mistakes, something funny happens:

It stops being a mistake!

Not only have you ensured it’ll never happen again, you have also improved yourself. Suddenly, it goes from being a mistake to being an improvement point.

Speaking of quotes, Thomas Edison, (although he was a complete tool who stole most of Nikola Tesla’s ideas) had this one great quote on learning from our mistakes:

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10.000 ways that don’t work“.

Just remember: There’s nobody to do it for you. It’s up to YOU to locate your improvement points, and act upon them.

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Why the idea of “perfection” is BS

Leonard Cohen, rest his weary bones, knew, perhaps better than most, that perfection is BS.This one should go without saying, right? I mean, of course perfection is BS. Nobody could take an abstract ideal like that serious, could they?

Well, actually, it would seem so.

How many times have you looked at the cover of any men’s magazine and thought, “My God, Carmen Electra’s just perfect!” – only to immediately deem her out of your league? (Substitute for any model of your choice, if you will.)
Or, if you’re a girl, that your body could never be anywhere near as perfect?

I know, right?

Perfection is BS, because it is, pretty much by definition, something unattainable. So why do people keep striving for it?

While everyone may not literally be striving for perfection, we sure do tend to act like it’s a real thing, – and then ultimately feel bad about how it’s beyond our reach.

I’m willing to bet that 100% of anyone reading this has, at some point in their lives, compared themselves or something they did to someone or something else that they considered perfectly flawless, only, then, to feel imperfect – and, in turn, inferior.

To a certain extent, this is what made me quit playing the guitar. I thought that I could never possibly be as outerwordly gifted as Dimebag Darrell. – And when I tried pushing myself towards his levels of speed, all I got was beginning signs of tenosynovitis!

When we do this to ourselves, we’re unconsciously being self-destructive. By holding ourselves to preposterously unfair standards, we fixate ourselves in a sense of inferiority. We think of ourselves as being of lesser worth.

This type of thought and behavior is ultimately dangerous because it’s self-affirming: The lesser we think of ourselves, the more we see perfection anywhere but ourselves, thereby effectively downward-spiraling deeper still into low self-esteem and depression.

“Well, shit. What’s the good news?” Glad you asked:

The notion of perfection – flawlessness; precise accuracy etc. – doesn’t even apply to our daily lives!

Unless you’re dealing with geometry or mathematical concepts (even which, for all intents and purposes, are merely principal human constructions), there is no such thing as “perfection”. Perfection is BS.

Now say it with me:


One man’s masterpiece is another man’s garbage. Even my favorite books, movies, and albums could be improved upon one way or another. Hell, even Carmen Electra probably has some sort of cosmetic flaw or irregularity (of which I wish to remain blissfully unaware).

By and large, “perfection” is an infinity-multiplied notion of one or more positive qualities. – An idealized matter of personal opinion. Which, for the record, does not equal “truth”.

However, that doesn’t mean that the idea of perfection is utterly useless. On the contrary, we can use perfection as a means of motivation.

When used right, perfection should be considered nothing but a principal ideal to pursue – not to ultimately attain. If we aim for perfection, we can’t help but improve a little all the time. It’s when we expect perfection that we set ourselves up for failure.

As the saying goes, “Strive for progress, not perfection”. Or, as another saying goes, “Aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.

(Whichever you prefer).

Or, as my personal favorite goes:

I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect. I say let’s evolve.

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