We Create Our Destinies in Every Moment

This is both terrifying and empowering to realize.

Jeff Valdivia
5 min readJan 23


Photo by Chris Hayashi on Unsplash

Fate and destiny are interesting concepts. Their mere existence as words speaks to how out of control life can feel — and, as a consequence, how powerless we can feel.

When we think of fate and destiny, we often think of forces greater than our own moving the pieces on the boards of our lives. We see those pieces moving and sometimes don’t feel like we could possibly change their course. They might as well be the stars in the sky.

And so, fate and destiny can feel like an invisible hand is moving you, inevitably, toward one thing or another, like the end of a romantic relationship. It can feel like life is simply flowing and you’re just along for the ride.

But, your destiny isn’t entirely outside of your control, is it? Of course, you know this, even though it doesn’t always feel this way.

So, what power do you have?

The author, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, put it well when he said: Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Beautiful words, but how do we put them into practice? How do we find that space?

The word karma is often used to describe the idea that what goes around comes around. In Buddhism, however, it’s subtler — karma is sometimes described as the law of cause and effect.

The idea is simple: no effect can arise without a cause. The cause, therefore, explains the effect. In other words, what is happening in your life is the consequence of what came before, like dominos falling in sequence.

What power do we have to disrupt the crashing of one event into the next? We have the space that Viktor Frankl mentions above.

And that space exists now.

The good news is that each passing moment gives you an opportunity to change your destiny.

The bad news? It’s the same thing.

Despite how you might feel sometimes, you are not a helpless bystander but an active agent in writing the story of your life. Why is this bad…



Jeff Valdivia

Following my curiosity and hoping it will lead me to wisdom. I write about psychology, meditation, self-development, and spirituality.