Sometimes I get the feeling I am destined to do something great. It’s hard to explain, but it’s as if I’m meant to do something before I die and I don’t know quite what that is yet. Most of the time, I shrug it off as my own ego. I’m not someone who really believes in fate.
But there does seem to be something beneficial about having a sense of destiny. I’ve heard many people claim their key to success was their undying belief that they would make it. It’s as if they knew they would succeed no matter what.
Your Future Destiny
Thinking of yourself as destined for something inherently means thinking about the future. It’s having a belief that your ending point will inevitably be something better than where you are now. You don’t know exactly how you’ll get there, but eventually you’ll get to that final point. You just know it.
All this thinking is done despite the fact that the future is unwritten and ultimately unknowable. You can make plans and preparations about what you think will happen, but it’s very likely that you’ll just have to change them as events unfold. The only thing you can say is certain about the future is that it is uncertain. Even people paid to make predictions about the future get it wrong most of the time.
But disregarding the future because it is unknowable and unpredictable can be really limiting. It’s as if you’re saying that the future has no direct impact on who you are now as a person. I can see how many people would think that. After all, who expects their own future to have a direct influence on the person you are today.
Your Future Self and You Now
It is true that events in the future can’t really impact who you are now. To say something you haven’t even experienced yet can make a difference to who you are now seems ridiculous. It would be like saying a book changed your life before even reading it. It doesn’t work that way.
But it’s not the events of the future that can influence you now. It’s the idea in your head now about what you are going to be like in the future that can make a difference. If you see yourself in the future as inevitably becoming something, you’re more likely to achieve it.
When you see yourself in the future, you’re using your imagination to create what you want to become. Even though this person you’re imagining is the future you, it can still impact who you are today. It’s been shown that imagination can have a bigger effect on your mind than you realize.
For example, a study was done on Junior High basketball players. They split a group of players into three groups and had them practice free throws. One group practiced every day, another did nothing at all and the last group sat on a bench and only imagined shooting free throws. When the experiment concluded, the accuracy of the group that practiced and the group who only used imagination was about even. The group who did nothing fell far behind in accuracy.
Having a sense of destiny uses your imagination. You see yourself in the future completing your task and becoming something amazing. Whatever it is you’re thinking about, all that imagination about where you want to go can build up. Ultimately it can effect you just as much as it did those basketball players.
Another reason that having a senses of destiny can help create success lies in a psychological concept called the self-fulfilling prophecy. This is when your prediction about something inevitably causes it to become true. An example of this would be someone who falsely believes they will have a bad day. They alter their behavior patterns enough to make it become true.
I’m sure many of you have heard about this concept before. But I doubt that you realize how it can affect effect you in a positive way. If you believe something positive will happen to you, you can alter your behavior pattern to make that prediction happen. And that’s basically what having a sense of destiny means.
A big part of how this happens comes from how people process beliefs. In a recent study, researchers found that beliefs and facts are treated the same way in the brain. Apparently, people see a belief as equal to facts. So if you believe something will happen to you in the future, your brain sees this as a fact despite knowing that it hasn’t happened yet.
It’s Your Destiny
Having a strong sense of destiny can keep you focused on your goals. All that focus directs you closer toward your goals since you’re constantly working out how to get to that point. Any setbacks can be shrugged off because of that strong belief you will succeed. In effect, your sense of destiny can keep you persistent as you struggle to get where you feel you should be. It’s like having a built-in mechanism preventing you from quitting.
Having a mechanism to stop you from quitting would be incredibly useful since many failures occur simply because people give up. It does explain why many successful people say they “just knew” they’d succeed. I still don’t really believe in fate, but I have been believing more in myself for the future.
Do you see yourself doing something in the future? Have you ever felt destined to do something?
photo credit: spacepleb