The word destiny means different things to different people, so it is important to be clear about which meaning is used as part of Inner Leadership.
The English word ‘destiny’ comes from the French word destinée. It shares the same original root as destination: it looks to the future, to where we are headed, to what is going to happen.
The original Latin word destinare meant “to make firm or establish.” So it is natural that some people still use the word ‘destiny’ to mean an outcome that is pre-ordained or fixed: a fate that is beyond our control, inevitable, bound to happen.
But over time the meaning of the original word changed. It shifted to become “the action of intending someone or something for a purpose.”
In this way, my destination became a place that I am intending to get to in order to carry out some purpose when I get there. My holiday destination is a place I am intending to go to, for a purpose, even though I might not actually get there. My conference destination is the same. Setting the destination and the purpose helps us get there, and arrive with the things we will need.
This is the way we use the word destiny in Inner Leadership. And when we use it this way, your destiny becomes a choice that you can make.
More than that, when you set an intention in order to achieve a purpose you also give yourself more energy to move forward and more flexibility to respond to unexpected circumstances. In times of change, both of these are useful.
Do you have a destiny you have chosen for yourself? An outcome you want to create, for a purpose, even though you might not get there? Would you value the energy and flexibility that come from defining one?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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