There’s a phrase that pops up a lot when I’m blogging, “living the life we came for,” which reeks, I know, of “destiny” and “fate,” terms I think are often misunderstood. So, I’m taking this moment to define those terms and to talk a bit about what I mean when I speak of living the life we came for.
Our destiny, quite simply, is the highest possibility that exists for our lives. It’s who we might become given the unique set of talents, attributes and experiences that we have at our disposal this lifetime.
Our fate, on the other hand, consists of all the things that happen to us along the way, both our trials and our triumphs, our good fortune and our bad.
Our fate, if we let it, can become our lives. We suffer a loss, for example, and it defeats us, or we set out on a safe but inauthentic path and we stick to it, because it’s lucrative or we’re successful or we don’t know what else to do. Or, if we choose, our fate can become the raw ingredients from which we cook up real and authentic and meaningful lives.
This doesn’t mean you can have any old life you want. We can’t be or do anything (and we’d be wise to stop telling our children that they can). I, for example, couldn’t be Adele if I wanted to. I simply don’t have the singing chops, nor do I have the one of a kind combination of ingredients that make Adele Adele. What I can do, though, and what we all can do and teach our children to do is pursue our own singular lives with a measure of the passion, commitment and drive she’s shown in the pursuit of hers.