Accept Your Fate

The concept of accepting one’s fate was popularized by Friedrich Nietzshe around 1882 when he coined the latin term “amor fati”. The concept, however, dates back further, and the Stoics, knowing full well what was and was not within their control, made accepting one’s fate, or amor fati, a staple of their philosophy.

My story of accepting my fate is very strange. My mother is a writer, among other artistic talents. During a visit several years ago, she told me that she wanted to write a piece about me. She wanted to understand what gave me the courage, motivation and determination to accept my adversities, and go on to live my life. After some thinking and pondering for a minute, I told her that I was sorry to disappoint her, but I don’t even think about those things, and I don’t know what allowed me to accept my fate, or what gave me the motivation and determination to live my life.

My conversation with my mother left me wondering about those answers, and why those questions are not even in my head. I realize that my mother has suffered greatly as a result of the things that happened to me. I also realize that, as a writer, she was looking for a comforting story about her hero son, waking up every morning full of determination to conquer and fight something. But honestly, this conversation with my mother made me dig deeper for the answer to those questions, at least for myself. One thing that I now realized, is how relentless I have been, in seeking the life that I wanted. With a brain injury and an amputation, this was note easy, but I did manage to carve out an unusual path toward my goals.

Another thing that helped me reach my goals, is how I am always inspired and awed by the stories of others, like family, friends, colleagues, stories in the news, those who have faced adversities, or others who have helped me in the past. Those inspirations fuel my hamster wheel syndrome, and my hamster wheel syndrome is all about relentless problem solving, that’s what I do. Like Vanilla Ice said, “you got a problem, yo I solve it”.

But here is something else to think about. Take a look at the included picture below, I found it while searching the internet, and it is now my screen saver. I am amazed and awed to the core by this young man, with one arm and no legs, doing what you see. Not only did he accept his fate, but he did an amazing thing. Even if he practiced all his life to just do this shot, even just one time, he will always be my hero. Unless you have experience with amputations and prosthetics as I do, you will have no idea what it takes to do this with 2 above knee amputations, and the required level of discipline, coordination and repeated practice. When I look at this picture, I am good with my fate, I have no complaints about anything, and I am inspired to do whatever it is that I want to do. I hope that you see what I see.

I have not read motivation books, nor listened to motivational speeches, and have not attended any class on the subject. I realize that I am not being helpful here, for I am not an expert on the subject. But, here are some pointers. We each need to figure out how to accept our fate, it is a personal journey, and we each need to find what motivates and inspires us, no one else can. We also need to follow our desired destiny, and not someone else’s prescription, and stay in the company of self-inspired and self-motivated people, you will eventually become one of them. Whatever you do, stay away from angry and unhappy people, they will rob you of your energy and self-esteem fast.