When French designer Phillipe Starck described destiny in his TED talk he made it out to be as actions in the service of duty. Actions guided by a sense of duty are basically actions performed in the service of others, goes his line of reasoning. This renders them selfless and, possibly, irreproachable.
Weber University’s Tim Border suggests that perception becomes reality. In The Sniper Mind I explored how perception determines reality. If destiny arises out of actions that are determined out of the cognitive options that are available to us which arise out of the environmental stimulus that surrounds us then free will; our ability to make specific choices that take us in a particular direction, may really be an illusion.
That doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. There is no predestination and no pre-determinism though determinism, may well be in effect. Our every thought and every action derives from stimuli that enter our brain as information supplied by our senses.
Do we have a sense of destiny? Can it be determined by us? If we didn’t and if it could not, words would not affect us the way they do. A speech wouldn’t change the way we perceive ourselves and the world and every possible outcome would be the result of conditions and circumstances themselves subject to analysis.
Newton’s clockwork universe offered to put uncertainty to bed forever until we realized what a pipedream this was.
Uncertainty is everywhere. It affects us all and the only real defense we have against it is each other.
Destiny is linked to identity. Identity is fashioned out of our understanding of who we are and what we want. Our dreams, hopes and desires stem from our direction and our direction determines our path.
The choices we make and the decisions they reflect are indicative of our sense of self and the insecurities that create it. Destiny then is the outcome of our actions which reflect our choices that arise out of our values.
Actions in the service of duty, a desire to serve; to provide real value and help raise the bar for everyone around us is itself pro-social behavior that safeguards us, to some extent, from the corrosive action of uncertainty.
In the sci-fi thriller Predestination the suggestion is made that you can never outrun the sum total of your actions. Eventually, those actions reflect decisions that accumulate. They represent priorities and values. We cannot ever escape our own self. This is why we must be responsible for who we are and what we do.
So, you made the right choice. You have coffee. Donuts. Croissants. Cookies. And chocolate cake. Have an awesome Sunday wherever you are.