napoleonbonaparte1I am believer in determinism. In other words, I believe in fate. But there are better words for fate.

(Newtonian) Physics is fate. Chemistry is fate. Biology is fate.

And yes, even psychology is fate. So what does one do when one is fated? How does one feel when can’t simply make his own fate?

There are certain things that are inevitable. What’s the old joke? Death and taxes?

When one is fated, it can feel like a certain kind of life is inevitable. You were destined to win. Or worse, you’re destined to lose.

How can we change our fate…if it’s fate? How do we alter our circumstances when we can’t choose our way out of it? It has everything to do with what you’re conscious of.

There are factors that shape our fate. Included in those are the time, the body, the geography, and the culture in which we are born. Those things are very resistant to change.

But there is one factor that shapes our fate that is the most accepting of change. That factor is our consciousness. Most of the time our consciousness is blown about like a leaf in the wind.

Whichever “wind” in our life is the strongest is what we’ll be conscious of. If we’re driving and there is a car wreck in front of us, we won’t be thinking about anything else. But most of the time, there aren’t stimuli that intense that require our attention.

Like anything else in our body, our brain changes with use. A part of what the human brain does is produce consciousness. And what we’re conscious of can dictate the direction of our lives.

Where some see problems others see opportunities. But how can we change our perspective, or what we’re conscious of, when it isn’t simple as choice. It’s all about advertising.

There’s an old trope in ads. It’s something like it takes 6-10 exposures for the ad to “work.” But what does work mean?

When and advertisement (or anything outside of you) works, it means you buy it. The multiple exposures bring it to the forefront of your consciousness…and you act. We can use this same strategy with ourselves.

Being conscious of something is an intermediate step in change. Conscious Incompetence, right? But there’s more.

It’s not enough to simply be conscious of something. Does that consciousness make you feel like you’re going to do it…or not do it? As Bruce Lee would say, it’s about “emotional content.”

If you want to do something…and it doesn’t feel like you can, find out which of these two directions are possible: Can you find out more about it? Or can you take some small step towards that thing you want to do?

Keep doing those one of those two things until it feels like you can do more. And keep doing more until you can do the whole thing. And a similar approach applies to stopping doing something, too.

If you feel like you can’t stop doing something, you have two directions, as well. Can you research stopping that particular behavior? Or can you take some small step in the opposite direction that would lead you to doing it a little less often, shorter, or with less intensity?

Odds are, you’ll find change possible…even with the reality of fate. But change isn’t as simple as choice. We can’t choose our fate. But our consciousness is a factor in our fate…and the more conscious we are of our fate, the bigger factor consciousness plays in our fate.


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