Is There Any Difference Between Fate and Destiny?

Fate vs Destiny and Where do Chance fit in this ecosystem

By Aey
Is There Any Difference Between Fate and Destiny?

What is Faith?

Fate is a word that has been used ever since the dawn of human evolution. For early humans, everything seemed to be new and they ended up believing that there was some higher power in control of these unexpected occurrences, hence the concept of ‘god’ emerged and later humans philosophized this concept into ‘fate’. Thus, fate came to be seen as some kind of unseen force that caused occurrences, both good and bad, that humans had no control over. The concept of fate became more popular once astrologers brought about the theory that it was the stars that controlled the events on Earth. Popular expressions such as “one’s fate is written in the stars” emerged shortly afterward.

What is Destiny?

Destiny revolves around the theory that whatever we get in life is a direct result of our activities. Many people believe that destiny has nothing to do with god – but instead is a consequence of our own desires and past activities. An example can be of a judge setting a verdict to send a criminal to jail – it is the criminal’s own offenses that led him to jail – the judge is not to blame. Some people believe that destiny is in our control – in the sense that we can choose to take responsibility for our lives and be good citizens – unlike the criminal who was sentenced to imprisonment.

Difference Between Fate and Destiny

1. Fate has nothing to do with your will to improve yourself

Many people regard fate as something that has nothing to do with a person’s prior actions and intentions. You could be a caring, sympathetic, considerate person like Princess Diana yet fall victim to a terrible car crash and the chapter of your life is closed. You could also be somebody like the Kardashians who many people claim have no talent yet are millionaires. Destiny, however, is based on a person’s intentions and life choices. One can strive and struggle to be a good person and possess good qualities such as Diana’s in order for life to give them good things in return.

2. Your destiny is in your hands

Our destiny is something that we construct ourselves. We are in control of our free will to shape our lives in the way that we want to. Regardless of the final outcome, if we struggle to shape our lives, then we are in some way in control of our life and are trying to constantly shape it in some way or another to our own benefit. Fate, on the other hand, does not seem to give us that much power – you could try as you might, but the end result can never be anticipated when it comes to fate.

3. The struggle to change one’s destiny gives one hope of a brighter tomorrow

Due to the helpless nature of human beings for when it comes to the pattern of one’s faith, there seems to be nothing we could do in order to shape our fate the way we want to. However, one’s destiny, perceived is being in control of one’s actions can be shaped into the way one wants it to be. Hence, it could be said that our destiny gives us hope of a better future and encourages us to commit to our own growth and development, taking risks, and learning from our mistakes. The famous expression, “destined for greatness” can only be achieved once we become actively involved in our daily decisions.

4. Fate and destiny lie on opposite ends of the spectrum

Due to the malleable nature of destiny, it is often perceived as something positive and encouraging. Fate, however, is considered insidious and mysterious and is associated with negativity and hopelessness. People often say, “you are destined for greatness” and, as a contrast, “she died on that fateful day” which clearly illustrates the parameters around both these words lie. Fate has nothing to do with free-will and is something that will happen inevitably. Destiny, however, can be shaped into something of our own liking by constant ‘editing’ of our daily life decisions. Even though many movies today seem to ignore the constant strive towards a better destiny each of our is consciously making (i.e. showing miraculous achievements for characters like Cinderella) it is to note that each and every decision we make each and every day eventually leads us to where we are tomorrow.

5. Your fate may enslave you, but your destiny will save you

Once someone becomes a ‘victim’ of their own fate, nothing can be done in order to reverse the implications. That is where destiny comes in. Once somebody comes to terms with their fate and accepts the mistakes of the past and the constraints of the future, they can set themselves to work to change what the future has in store for them. When this happens, we say that someone is actively trying to shape their destiny from the irreversible nature of their fate i.e. they don’t want what happened today to repeat itself tomorrow. Not only would this minimize the destruction already caused by one’s faith, but it would also provide one with a new, positive perspective of the future.

6. Everything has been divinely appointed

Religiosity and the concept of god has a lot to do with the idea of fate. Fate can be considered as a course of events that are divinely planned by God Himself. If one is fated for bankruptcy of a business firm he owns – there is nothing he can do about it since “God willed it to happen”. However, one’s destiny has can be considered as a direct influence of one’s own action. Religiously speaking, even destiny is set by god i.e. our intentions are placed in our hearts by the will of God as well, but the major difference between the two is that it depends upon the extent of our own struggle whether we might be able to shape our destiny.

7. Today, destiny makes more sense than fate

In Greek mythology, fate is portrayed by three sisters who are collectively known as “Moirae” who predetermine the lives of all human beings. However, destiny is a concept that is more practical, reasonable, and in accordance with modern ideologies.

How about Chance?

It is widely believed that everything in the universe happens for a reason and everything that happens has a further consequence by something which depends on casual necessity, but is of course, directly connected to the prior occurrence. This is where the concept of ‘Chance’ comes in. The concept of chance is closely related to the concept of causality. Once something happens and something else is followed by it, we consider it to have a new casual chain in the occurrences of the universe. Since chance is closely related to probability, the easiest to understand example would be of the rolling of a die– the outcome of either of the six numbers of the die is a mere probability and are cannot be predicted. However, once you do get a number, your future actions are in direct accordance with the result of the number you got. Hence, the ‘chance’ of getting a number 4 set off a chain reaction of the following occurrences.

Linkage between Fate, Destiny and Chance

Fate, Destiny, and Chance are distinct concepts that go hand in hand. Each of the three can be thought of as steps governing a person’s final destination in their journey in life. Fate refers to the inevitable nature of events – regardless of one’s personal attributes. It has nothing to do with one’s personality, karma, or personal or social interactions, or even one’s innermost intentions. Destiny, on the other hand, refers to one’s ability to endeavors in trying to change the course of events after fate has run its course.

An example can be of someone having their home robbed while they were at work. After this happens, one may decide to install a better security system in their house.  Lastly, chance refers to the probability that one’s struggles to shape their destiny may or may not be fruitful for them. Here, we may continue our previous example of the robbery – even after one installs a better security system – the end result of minimizing the risk of a future robbery is set on the ‘chance’ of whether the new security system is better than the previous one or not.

When it comes to the linkage between Fate, Destiny, and Chance, we may consider Fate as an independent variable upon which Destiny depends and Destiny as an independent variable upon which Chance depends. Notice how there seems to be a co-existing chain of the relation between the three and how Chance is never independent over either of the two – that is because Chance is a mere probability of one’s Destiny is taking a turn for the better or the worse. One can try as they might shape their destiny the way they want to, but the end result depends upon whether their efforts were implemented in the right way or not – even if they were, there is no guarantee that they would drastically improve one’s condition in that specific situation. It seems to be a pessimistic outlook on the concept of predestination – but the reality is hardly in peoples’ favor – all we can do is give it our best shot.

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As humans, we have little to no power over what we might experience during our lifetime. However, it is to note that every religion teaches us to be the best version of ourselves. The concept of destiny promotes that very ideology of optimism that one might relate to religiosity. Other than the sayings of mystic scholars or Buddhist monks, it is rare to read an extract of some kind from somebody who stated that they were in control and content with the circumstances of their lives. All we can do is accept our reality as beings who have been given free will of action, but not the free will of implementation. We can only struggle to change our lives by attempting to shape our destiny, what follows afterward is entirely dependent on chance and possibility.