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Take control of your destiny: There's always a choice Yes or No
Take control of your destiny
There’s always a choice: Yes or No
We often come across Pakistanis seeking refuge in Allah’s will or fate. Since childhood we have been hearing phrases like “InshAllah”, “Allah de ga”, “Har koi apni kismet le ke aata hai”, “Shayad kismet mein yehi likha tha” and so on. If you have been brought and bred in Pakistan, it is unlikely that you escaped from these constant regurgitations of fate. The emphasis is always on the fate of an individual rather than one’s responsibility to make informed choices via free will - this is unfortunately the mindset with which most of us are brought up. At least I have never been exposed to phrases in our society that carry a certain notion of taking personal responsibility for the outcomes suffered.
From a spiralling population in Pakistan that is relentlessly justified by the majority as Allah’s determination no matter how scarce the resources; acceptance of unchallenged religious traditions failing rationale; selection of careers dictated by survival rather than passion to promulgation of arranged marriages based on family conformity rather than meaning companionship – the authority of independent, responsible and informed decisioning is taken away from us at a very early age and “fate” is introduced as the most powerful tool in our subconscious existence. Be it a consequence of religious traditions or culture; but due to this concept of fate we have eventually become ‘followers’ rather than ‘leaders’; not only in our personal and professional lives, but also as a nation. It is now second nature to us to shift the burden of decisions on fate or others. Translating this micro level irresponsible attitude of individuals to a macro level can perhaps help us decipher why Pakistan is still struggling to progress.
It is about time that we as individuals and as a nation break this idea of compliance to fate. We must not defy the element of fate completely from the equation but rather introduce the factors of free will and responsible decisioning for a better outcome. In the context of our daily lives, we have all at least once come to a point where we think that we have no control over our lives and that we are ultimately a product of our fate rather than choice.
Paulo Coelho in his book, The Alchemist, suggests that thinking our lives are controlled by fate is perhaps the world’s greatest lie and I am in agreement with the author. We need to understand that fate is constantly intertwined with free will. In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru “The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Hence the choices we make have a very strong hold on later events and our destiny. While fate can take over at times, what is important is one’s capability of excavating themselves from the situation. This is precisely the difference between ‘leaders’ and ‘followers’ - leaders make educated decisions with the knowledge and resources at hand while the followers let fate engulf them. Perhaps if all Pakistanis make a conscious decision today to take control of their personal and professional lives, Pakistan could transform extraordinarily as a nation. All it takes is positive will.
I believe neither marriages nor your path in life is made in heaven. Fate exposes you to choices and it is then up to you to make a responsible choice rather than letting others steering the course of your action and hence your destiny. It is true that not everyone is lucky enough to be born with a golden spoon, but a strong will can help you manoeuvre your circumstances to reach your aims, whatever they may be. Depending on where you are brought up, you will face limitations depending on your family, finance, culture, and environment. Some of us are born to have easy lives, while some are born to take a more challenging path. Perhaps the limitations and obstacles you currently face, that lead to feeling out of control of your life, are a part of your journey - you must overcome them to grow stronger on the path to achieving your goals. Mind is a very powerful tool indeed but when mind and heart are synchronized to achieve a certain goal, the entire universe will indeed conspire in helping you achieve it, as says The Alchemist. And if you don’t achieve it, always remember someone else somewhere wanted it more than you.
We often see others not the way they are, but often the way we are. We tend to presume that others' reactions would mirror ours and hence arrive at conclusions on the motivations or the reasons for action on the part of others based on what we would have done. While money can buy you freedom, it cannot buy you passion. It is painful if one doesn’t make enough money to live comfortably but it is even more painful if the work you do has no meaning to you. It is almost like a wife or a husband you don’t want to wake up next to everyday as the marriage is meaningless to you.
Ordinary people usually dwell on their problems and indulge in a comparative analysis with people who they ‘perceive’ to have been given everything on a silver plate. However, for leaders life is all about balance and focusing on the positives. Being aware of the opportunities and wary of the risks is something which puts people on the path of being a visionary and leads to responsible decisioning. So you don’t need a silver spoon and don’t really need to be a genius. All you need is sincere belief in yourself and willingness to take action towards your ambitions. Now wither you can believe in the world’s greatest lie or take control of your life today by taking conscious Yes or No decisions as there is more under your control than is actually controlled by fate.