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Our Plans vs. Our Destiny

October 15th, 2012

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One of my favorite authors, while describing an unexpected encounter that drove her to start an organization that she had never dreamed of, she said this phrase: "It was not part of my plans but it was definitely part of my destiny."

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I do not believe that our destiny is written, in fact, I strongly believe that we have the freedom to direct our lives and we are not tied to a set fate. However, it is undeniable that many things just happen, whether we like it or not, and we can't really avoid nor escape this truth.

Many of you have probably heard the expression: "God writes straight with crooked lines."
Regardless of whether you are a person of faith or not, this phrase states that sometimes we can't possibly make sense of things and the way they happen, but in the end it all makes sense, and if we are lucky we will see it.

Lets say that making plans and having goals is good, in fact it is healthy, but becoming attached to them or inflexible about them is a great mistake.

What happens is, along the road of life things are constantly changing and we have no way to predict everything, we have no control over a lot of factors. We are deeply interconnected with everything and everybody around us, so there are way too many variables that can and most likely will influence our plans. But if we keep an open mind and an open heart and welcome changes as they come, if we remain always flexible, the chances are we will turn many unexpected events into wonderful opportunities to fulfill our goals, our true goals (there is a distinction there!).

What I mean by true goals, are those goals that bring a sense of purpose to our lives, those goals that are really important for us (and they may differ from those goals WE think are important for us). For instance, you may be set on getting a specific job that you believe is the best for you, but in reality there are many things about it that you are not aware of, so if you don't get it, it may be for the best.

So where is the real freedom of creating your life?
It would be unreal to pretend we are in control of everything, but to a certain extent we are! at a different level than we may think. We always have a choice on the way we perceive what happens and on the actions we take as a consequence of it. This to me is freedom.

You can have plans and follow your goals and take actions towards what you want, but then, life may take you in different directions and it is up to you to seize the moment and take your destiny in your own hands by looking at the new opportunities, exploring the doors that may be opening for you; or you may stubbornly resist change and get stuck in your old plans and expectations, and THAT is when you really become a prisoner.

I personally believe in a greater intelligence that guides our lives, but does only that: guides our lives, and it may do so by taking us in different directions, it is up to us to understand how to make the best of this guidance and bring about the best in our lives. We have a choice in every situation and that choice will determine how the given situation will affect us, so no matter what it is, we always have a choice and that means we have freedom to create our lives.

Even little decisions or actions that we take every day can change our lives, but we are not always aware of them because we often function on autopilot and may easily miss signs that might suggest we are about to make a move that will impact our lives.

If you have never seen the movie sliding doors, I recommend you watch it, it is a very interesting story that shows one woman and two possible outcomes, one simple instant of her life will determine whether she will go one path or another, and the movie shows both paths in parallel to see how different her life can be based in one tiny small decision she makes unconsciously.

Sometimes we know we are faced with clear choices and we have to make a decision, but other times we don't even know we have a choice, we don't see it. By being more open to change, more flexible and less attached to our goals, we can also be more present in the moment and more able to see the signs that can guide us to make the best decisions for our life, no matter how small they may seem.

So, there is our plan and there is a destiny, but the way I see the destiny is not as a written fate we can't avoid, but rather an intelligent guidance that will direct us towards better outcomes, only if we are capable to perceive it and make the right decisions about it.

The capacity to perceive this guidance comes with finding our inner voice, disconnecting from the outside noise, quieting our minds, etc. and all those important skills that take practice, but are accessible to every single one of us.

Have a great week!

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