The question posed here, which is often debated, is whether our life direction is the result of random events or is preordained in some way. One spiritual perspective, aligned to Eastern religious traditions goes something like this :
– We are all part of a universal life force, which is ordered and has our interests at heart ( loves us and is love) and which some call God
– Our individual soul is eternal and we live through several lives (reincarnation) on the road to enlightenment
– We choose our parents and the life circumstances into which we are born
– The lifepath we choose is to facilitate our growth on the road to ultimate ‘enlightenment’
– We have freewill, and our decisions determine how much we ‘fulfill our destiny’ during this lifetime
The extent to which you buy into the above is driven by your own personal belief system and your concept of God. This will in part be determined in turn by the religious tradition into which you were born (if any), whether you still hold these beliefs, and how your beliefs have evolved and developed over the course of your lifetime. Some will believe in only what can be proven scientifically.
The question posed is impossible to resolve by a review of observable facts, given that much of what we are talking about here is outside the scope of current scientific knowledge.
Maybe the answer is not that important given the undeniable impact of the exercise of freewill on our life direction, regardless of what we believe. Another ‘fact’ is that we make better choices if we have some understanding/awareness of who we are. In that sense the more our decisions are aligned with our ‘true’ life purpose/ destiny/passion or whatever we want to call it the happier we will be – so it is worthwhile reflecting on what this is.
Finally, some concept of a higher power which is on our side (we are not alone) is a great resource to have when the going gets tough.