The word ‘destiny’ means different things to different people, so it is important to be clear about the meaning we use 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 heading.
Going back even further, the original Latin word destinare meant “to make firm or establish” — so it is no surprise that some people still use the word destiny to mean something that is fixed, inevitable, pre-ordained, and beyond our control.
But, over time, the meaning of the word destinare changed. It shifted to become “the action of intending someone or something for a purpose.”
This is the meaning we use in Inner Leadership. Defined in this way, our ‘destination’ becomes “a place that we are intending to get to in order to carry out a purpose.” I tell the taxi driver that my destination is the airport, intending to catch a flight when I get there. I fly to another city, intending to have a business meeting or a holiday when I arrive.
When we choose our destiny as an outcome we are intending, for a purpose, we still might not get there. But by defining it we give ourselves more energy to more forward and more flexibility to respond to surprises. In times of change, that makes it much more likely that we will arrive.
Have you chosen a destiny for yourself: an outcome you want to create, and a purpose for why you are doing so? Would you benefit from the extra energy, focus, and flexibility that would come if you defined one?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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