LUCK, destiny, fate, circumstance. When we think of fate, we may think of things being laid out for us, that there’s already some plan for our lives unfolding at every turn. Or maybe we feel as though everything happens for a reason. Perhaps there is a grand plan for you, and perhaps there isn’t. Either way, it doesn’t matter when it comes to your choices and your decisions. That may sound counter-intuitive, but here’s why:

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that there is a plan for you, a destiny. If you have no idea what this destiny is, how are you supposed to attain it? Will it just happen regardless of what you do? Wouldn’t all your choices lead to this destiny of yours anyhow? So why not attempt the life you want? Why not go after your dreams? It’s easy for people to get caught up in this, especially when they set out toward some goal and meet the first obstacle. They think, well, maybe this isn’t my destiny. Again, I ask, how do you know the obstacle isn’t an opportunity to learn so that you may achieve your goal? Why can’t your dreams still be your destiny?

The other option is that there is no plan laid out for you, that it is up to us to forge our own destinies. This scenario allows you to choose for yourself what your path will be. Still, assuming you think the first scenario is the true one, what will happen if you achieve your dreams anyway? Will you still be saying it’s not your destiny?

Lastly, people tend to confuse random happenstance with fate. Whether a thing happens for a reason or not, the response should be the same. Meet the incident with the intent to learn from it and seize the opportunity for improvement. Make your own opportunities, make your own choices, find your own path. Cultivate the best possible odds of success still, and if a wrench gets thrown into the mix, turn that into progress as well. Incorporate it.

With regards to luck, remember we tend to focus on the string of events that seem to be more common in that moment. A run of “bad luck” sticks out in our minds, we notice more of it because we’re looking for it. We miss all the evidence that would tell us it’s not bad luck at all. What we think of as bad luck becomes extra stress as we dwell on it, then the little things are exacerbated and we morph them into more evidence of bad luck. Keep your wits about you and you’ll notice that we all experience ups and downs. Look for the ups. That way you’ll exacerbate those by focusing on them instead of the bad.