Can We Control Our Destiny?

When I first saw this title on a coaching blog, I wasn't sure to which word I was more drawn- Control or Destiny. Which word appeals or appalls you more?
David Bowie: "It's all deranged No control I should live my life on bended knee If I can't control my destiny You've gotta have a scheme You've gotta have a plan In the world of today, for tomorrow's man No control Stay away from the future."
Fancesca Battistelli sings:                      
"I'm letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I'm losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I'm falling and that's what it's like to believe
So I'm letting go."               
In both quotes, there is a letting go of ideas. The stress we experience is not in the act of releasing but rather it's the grasping, even the pushing away of ideas that creates the angst.  We're so accustomed to the belief that control means power and feeling powerful is a good thing we lose sight of the container we put around ourselves (and others) lest anyone or anything tries to wrest the power from us.
The irony of putting these concepts together is that Destiny is pure chance. When we tell ourselves it's our destiny to be with person A or do job B we're implying a fate that is pre-ordained. In the Buddhist teachings, we learn that everything we see, feel, touch, taste, smell and think is mental, created by our minds. Where we can exert power is by taking responsibility for all we think, say and do. We can focus our conduct on the development of compassion, not just for ourselves but for everyone. We let go of everything else because you just never know what the outcome will be.
I've built mindfulness practice as the cornerstone of my coaching. People can't change what they don't know. Therapy is good but it still seems focused on teaching clients how to better manage their belief system so they can remain in control.
This week why not explore the varied areas of your life where you'd like to let go the control? Pick one area to observe. Think about the stress you're carrying trying to hold onto a person, a thought, or an activity. What can you say or do that will allow you to relinquish the hold? If you're stuck email me at

Posted on November 26, 2013 and filed under November 2013.