332 Days ’til 40: Living Your Destiny

26 Mar

“There are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore.”  ~ Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle

What is MY destiny?  This is a question I have heard over and over throughout my 39 years.  I have heard this question emerge from the mouths of disillusioned questioning adolescents and out of the mouths of seasoned clergy members.  In fact, I would venture to say that one thing that knits us together as humankind, regardless of age, socioeconomic status, race, religion, orientation, or political affiliation is our common heartfelt need/ desire/ quest to understand the purpose our life has.  So many individuals ask themselves, “What is the meaning if MY life? What is MY purpose here on earth?  What was I created to be?  What is MY destiny?”  Many people lose sleep as they work frantically and diligently to find answers to these questions.

Our yearning to answer these questions comes from a deep desire to believe that there is a reason for our presence on earth that goes beyond daily existence.  We want to believe that our lives have a greater meaning, even if that meaning is not a concept that we cannot fully grasp or understand.  We want to know we are tied in with a greater plan, a plan larger than ourselves and the limitations of our minds and thoughts.

“You can never know about your own destiny: are the people you meet there to play a part on your own destiny, or do you exist just to play a role in theirs?”  ~ Libba Bray, Going Bovine

Some individuals, like Libba Bray, believe that we never can truly know our destiny.  She mentions that we cannot truly know if the people we come in contact with are in our lives to fulfill our destiny or we are in their lives to fulfill theirs.  I personally would like to believe that our entire earth is interdependent and that we all have the potential to positively influence the destiny of those around us.  Unfortunately, with the realities of life, this means we also have the ability to negatively impact the destiny of those around us – motivating people towards love or hate, towards acts of kindness or acts motivated by anger and hate.

I personally like to believe that part of my destiny will be fulfilled on this earth if my presence, my life, helps to make the lives of someone else easier.  I want to know that I can love, comfort, and support the people I come into contact with and leave them feeling better in some way after our encounter (be it encouragement, support, developing a plan, or feeling like they are no longer alone).

“it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

I think that Elizabeth Gilbert brings up an important point…..  when searching for our destiny, we must live OUR OWN destiny, and not the destiny of someone else.  I may WISH that my destiny is to be an independently wealthy philanthropist, but given my current life situation that is just not likely.  I may also WISH that my destiny is to be a welcoming individual who has an open house full of people at all times….. but if my personality style is introvert and I really need my down, quiet time in order to recharge my personal batteries, living the destiny of a person who constantly entertains would not be true to my own nature and character.  This is why it is critical that we look to find our OWN destiny – to truly understand what makes us tick, what gives us pleasure, what motivates and encourages us.  As we pursue those things, things that mesh with our personal internal “programming” we are closer to finding our own destiny.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading” ~ Siddhartha Gautama

If you are not currently fulfilled in your life, if you find yourself lying awake at night wondering and crying out for more, then perhaps you are not living your destiny.  If you are frustrated at work and home and feel as though you are on a merry-go-round that you just cannot seem to get off, it could be that you are not living your destiny.  In reference to the wise words by Gautama that are printed above, you will continue on the path you are currently heading unless you make a conscious effort to change your route or shift your direction.  Only YOU can decide if you are willing to take the risk to evaluate your life, your happiness, the direction you are currently heading and the direction you may want to head.  And, then only you can take the leap of faith to pursue a new path.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today, 332 days ’til 40 I will continue to strive to understand what purpose my life may hold.  I realize that I am responsible for my own destiny, as I am the only person who can evaluate and apply my personal passions and areas of gifting/ talent.  I can work to comprehend and accept the role I can actively play to make a difference in the world.  Once I possess this knowledge, I must have the faith in myself to take the risk and make change in my life that allows me to shift my direction in pursuit of fulfillment.

It is my hope that more people are able to shift their lives from surviving to thriving, from existing to contributing, from questioning to knowing, from discontent to gratification.  Wishing you all the best as you walk along the path to your personal destiny.



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74 responses to “332 Days ’til 40: Living Your Destiny

  1. bellissimom

    March 26, 2012 at 00:29

    A book kind of on this topic that I have heard a lot of great things about is Rod Stryker’s Four Desires. It is about discovering your dharma or path and then following it. Here is a blurb from the website: “Desire is here to stay. The challenge we all face, and that I intend to guide you through, is to learn how to take into account the full measure of who you are and use the positive force of all four of your soul’s desires––dharma, the desire to become who you were meant to be, artha, the desire for the means to help you fulfill your dharma, kama, the desire for pleasure of all kinds, and moksha, the desire for freedom and a connection to the Eternal––to lead you to your best life.” – THE FOUR DESIRES

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:47

      Thank you so much for pointing me to this book, I will have to check it out! 🙂

  2. knittynana

    March 26, 2012 at 00:30

    “If you are not currently fulfilled in your life, if you find yourself lying awake at night wondering and crying out for more, then perhaps you are not living your destiny. If you are frustrated at work and home and feel as though you are on a merry-go-round that you just cannot seem to get off, it could be that you are not living your destiny.”

    I was living this life until I turned it over to God. Through prayer and listening in the quiet times He has lead down the path I believe he had planned for me.

    I love this journey you are taking through your blog and pray that your end result is what you hope for. I’ll be following!

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:47

      Thank you so much, Knittynana (LOVE your name!) for your comment! I am so glad that you were able to find the peace that you were searching for – it makes such a difference, doesn’t it? Please do visit again, and thank you for sharing your insight! 🙂

    • writerwannabe763

      March 26, 2012 at 21:39

      I agree totally with you ‘knittynana’ as I was on the same roller coaster…(merry-go-round) for many years but thanks to God I did eventually get off and realize I was where I was supposed to be…

  3. buckwheatsrisk

    March 26, 2012 at 01:06

    i can totally relate, i do not like to entertain, and i like to have alone quiet time to recharge. it is nice to know i am not the only one. i sometimes feel like the odd one out being this way, because it seems, like so many around me have no struggle entertaining…thanks for this post!

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:32

      Yes, you are definitely not the only one!!! I do enjoy time with others, but definitely need my quiet, down time as well!

      • buckwheatsrisk

        March 26, 2012 at 17:36

        there is just something about it! 🙂

  4. huffyron

    March 26, 2012 at 01:34

    I really like your blog. After spending the last two afternoons reading your past submissions, I know the next 300+ days will be an uplifting journey of self discovery. I only wish I had your insight, intelligence and optimism — wait a minute, I do — all I have to do is keep reading!

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:29

      Thank you so much for your very kind words and encouragement! I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying my posts and will keep reading, joining me on the journey! 🙂

      • artistspromenade

        March 26, 2012 at 13:21

        I really enjoyed reading your blog. I completely understand your quest. Like you a few years ago, I needed to open my eyes and define my life differently, not simply moving through life but contributing to my life and others with a purpose.
        Waking up from a deep waking-sleep has allowed me to find my own happiness, be a better person, mother,wife, writer, etc. and I found my own purpose.
        I wish you the same incredible experience. Two books I loved, Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer and The Right Questions by Debobie Ford.
        Good luck finding your destiny, I will be reading along.

        • 400daystil40

          March 26, 2012 at 13:57

          Thanks so much! I have also read Power of Intention and will need to look up The Right Questions. 🙂

          • artistspromenade

            March 26, 2012 at 22:14

            Good Luck, I think your writing is wonderful.

  5. LauraLee

    March 26, 2012 at 01:36

    The Elizabeth Gilbert quote that you used is one that I have highlighted in my copy of same book.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:28

      Which reminds me of the saying “great minds think alike!!!” 🙂

  6. Words From the Moon

    March 26, 2012 at 01:42

    A great post with some very inspirational words.

  7. rabidmongoose

    March 26, 2012 at 01:48

    That’s a great quote from Elizabeth Gilbert. Andy Stanley is a tremendous preacher and communicator, and I once saw another pastor speak at Stanley’s church while Stanley was taking a week off. By the end of the sermon I found myself thinking, “Wow, that guy sounds just like Andy Stanley.” And then I realized how sad that is…That the best compliment I could give the man is that he sounded just like someone else (even if that ‘someone else’ is one of the most gifted communicators of our time).

    I also relate to the Emerson quote…I find that I am still waiting for permission to be me.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:27

      Thanks for your response to my post, Rabid Mongoose! Yes, I love the Gilbert quote, and like you I am still in process of granting full permission to be myself. Your comment is so very poignant – that the compliment linked the person to someone else, as I imagine we all want to be complimented on being unique in our own right – great thoughts! Thank you so much for sharing them with the readers of this blog! 🙂

  8. Stuart Otway-Smith

    March 26, 2012 at 02:19

    Thanks again for you uplifting words of wisdom, I am feeling the tornado of destiny rain down on me right now, yet the changes in my life due to it are making me realise that; not only does my true potential exist but destiny is malluable and if we spend to much time concerned with our own self worth, we may miss out on just how lucky we really are, we may miss how much we are loved by others, how much they care, because we spent to much time trying to figure out ourselves.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:25

      Yes, you make such an important point, Stuart…. we really can miss everything happening around us if we spend too much introspective time trying to figure it all out as life “happens” around us without our participation.

  9. terry1954

    March 26, 2012 at 02:46

    very good!!!

  10. M. Menawa

    March 26, 2012 at 03:45

    Love your posts! Gorgeous pics!

  11. Pamela

    March 26, 2012 at 04:35

    I love all of the authors you quoted! Great post!

  12. leese315

    March 26, 2012 at 04:42

    Yet again an truly moving piece. I remember being at my brothers college graduation and the valedictorian said “do something that scares you everyday”, kind of reminds me of what you are saying. You have too get out of your comfort zone to truly see what life has in store for you.
    Thanks for posting! =)

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:23

      Thank you so much, Leese! I love what the valedictorian said! 🙂

  13. Sofia

    March 26, 2012 at 06:52

    Great post.
    I enjoyed reading this.

  14. writerwannabe763

    March 26, 2012 at 07:02

    You have touched in my opinion so many areas of what the meaning of our lives or our destiny on this earth..are.

    Making life a little easier for some other people that cross your path in life…liking what you do.. and I would even say liking who you are as a person..liking yourself first and foremost..then going from there.

    I think when I was younger I too thought that there must be some greater thing in life that I should be doing, than just in my own ‘inner circle’.

    But somewhere along the line..I’m not to sure when, I came to the conclusion that I should just do the best job that I can do where I was at that particular time…in my case raising my children to be moral, kind and decent human beings …and work in a job that met a need within me. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of difficulties during my life, but those were I think my core values.

    And now it’s I think okay in my senior years that I use the insight and experience gained doing those things, and pass along to others some of what I’ve learned through them. Maybe I haven’t ‘changed’ the world but I think I did and am doing what God expected of “me”.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:19

      Thank you for the wonderful comment and insight, Writer Wannabe 763! I love your conclusions about doing the best you can in where you are at any given time. I really appreciate your perspective and hope you will keep coming back – thank you so much! 🙂

  15. MartaInANewAdventure

    March 26, 2012 at 07:13

    Thanks so much for your words, they really made me think and realize that every experience in life is worthy. I learn a great deal from each experience I have and this is the very reason my life has been worth living, and is filled with amazing moments. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:16

      Thank you for your comment! What a wonderful life perspective you have! 🙂

  16. Anya

    March 26, 2012 at 08:47

    We sometimes do not see our destiny because we are fantasizing off towards the distance when all along it is now in front of our faces. Our destiny (I think anyway) is to cherish, soak in, and enjoy the things God has already blessed us with today. Our destiny is the lives that we are living in today. Cheers to ambitious dreams and aspirations! It is the reason we make this world a better place! BTW, I am so loving your blog! Keep ’em coming!

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 10:29

      Thank you, Anya, for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate the insights you are sharing with the readers of this blog! 🙂 Yes, we do have to remember that, while dreams and ambitions are amazing, we have to look at where we are at and what is happening on a daily basis too! Otherwise, life will pass us by. Thank you again! 🙂

  17. Cathy

    March 26, 2012 at 09:22

    I wish you all the best too! I really like the quotes you chose.

  18. Intermittante

    March 26, 2012 at 14:50

    Have you ever heard the song “Le vent nous portera” by Noir Désir?

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 21:57

      I have not I will have to check it out – thanks!

  19. saymber

    March 26, 2012 at 15:30

    You touched on a very important part of your destiny – helping others. It’s fun to read the work of a fellow ponderer. 🙂

  20. viveka

    March 26, 2012 at 16:30

    I personally believe that we control our own destiny and we do it subconsciously. We have our goals and I think we subconsciously strive towards the goal, which we call “fate”. Participated in a seminar for women in management positions and the last day, we would draw on a display board where we wanted to find/see ourselves in 15 years, for each other. 90% of what I drew I achieved – nothing I have done consciously, it just so happened = fate/destiny. Now I believe very strongly that we are driven by our subconscious, then we call it fate/destiny. Think it’s the same in love – we meet somebody or we see somebody – we work against getting to know that person.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 21:57

      Thanks, Viveka, for your comment!!!!! 🙂 I also agree with you and I think our subconscious is far more powerful than we give it credit for being…. and this can be both for positive or negative influence.

  21. wildlifewatcher

    March 26, 2012 at 20:06

    Hi “400”, Great post! I am many days past the age of 40. I think it is important to be kind, worship one’s Creator, be a great spouse or partner and parent. It is also important to strive to enrich other’s lives and learn and grow yourself. Positive thoughts, actions, and dreams go a long way. Enjoy!

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 21:50

      Thanks wildlife watcher! I love your comment and I agree with you – thanks for sharing! 🙂

  22. andy1076

    March 26, 2012 at 20:13

    Great blog and beautiful pictures! 🙂

  23. vanevolence

    March 26, 2012 at 20:42

    I love the quote by Ralph Waldo Emmerson! It’s so true, only we can choose who we want to be. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 21:45

      Me too! Thank you so much. I hope you stop by again.

  24. leilarashid

    March 26, 2012 at 20:48

    Great post, really inspiring.I love the whole idea of your blog, this is definitely a good way of contributing something of your purpose to the world! I’ve tagged you in a game, here’s the link

  25. ra0jah

    March 26, 2012 at 21:02

    The God of Abram (abraham) said to him, your children will be the fathers of many nations, and your descendents will be more numerous than the stars in the sky. His wife Sa-ra could not conceive, and so, she gave to her husband her servant Hagar to bear a child in her stead. This being so, Hagar bore a child, being named Ismael. This created a bit of a conflict later on when, as if by divine intervention ():-) Sa-ra gave birth, in her very old age, to a boy, who was to be called Isaac. The God of Abraham (also known as the monotheistic “The One God”), said to Abraham that Isaac would be the father of many nations and would bear descendents of Abraham – more numerous than the stars above.

    So, one can imagine, Abraham and his wife Sa-ra (Hagar and Ismael had been banished by now) probably thought that this was it, God said it, and so it shall be – and this is our Destiny, written in stone. But God is of Fire & Air as well – and so His Word – which IS Destiny Itself, may also change at any single moment.

    Some time later, Isaac is old enough (I assume to be about 12 years of age or so) to accompany his father on day-trips to make sacrifices, and also help him carry the provisions needed and the tools required to build an altar. God suddenly gives the inspiration to Abraham to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, on the altar.

    Can you imagine yourself as Abraham, knowing the whole time that God had said his son Isaac would be the bearer of descendents who would be the fathers of many nations. And now, this same God was asking Abraham to sacrifice this very same son who he previously had said would bear more descendents than were stars in the sky.

    What are you willing to sacrifice in the name of Life Itself? Could you give up all your possessions willingly – or would you fret for them to be taken from you? You are the dust that is being swept by the Broom of Destiny – and yet, you are the Broom Itself.

    I do not know your name, but I can know my soul well enough to know yours exactly.

  26. cherylmarieknits

    March 26, 2012 at 23:31

    If you figure out life by 40, you’re doing awesome. I’m that plus 10 and I am still working on it!
    I definitely like this thought that you posted…
    “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
    I am still in the decision-making stage!

    • 400daystil40

      March 27, 2012 at 07:33

      Thank you Cheryl Marie! Yes, I LOVE that quote! Me too, I am most definitely in the decision making stage! I wonder how long that stage will last…??? 😉

  27. The Guat

    March 28, 2012 at 09:13

    I LOVE that Elizabeth Gilbert quote. I actually have it on my top quote list. Eat Pray Love has a lot on that list. Nicholas Sparks is pretty awesome too 😉

  28. mybakingjournal

    March 29, 2012 at 07:37

    You have a pleasant writing style which reaches out to people. Loved reading the entries. Will be checking often now 🙂
    Thanks for visiting !

  29. pinksocks

    March 30, 2012 at 07:12

    you write straight from the heart. fabulous read. Thanks for sharing.

  30. wayfarerwanders

    April 2, 2012 at 13:43

    Thank you for sharing these meaningful thoughts, quotes, and reflections!

  31. You Were Born To Succeed

    April 2, 2012 at 14:57

    You express the search for purpose so well. I believe everyone is searching for their purpose in life, whether they realize it or not. For a long time, I felt my life was empty – that I wasn’t even in my own life. When I found my purpose, my life was complete – not in the sense that it was all neat and tidy, but that I was living in a way that expresses who I am. I allowed myself to pursue the things that bring me joy. Sometimes my life gets messy, but I now have a center of security from which I learn to resolve the messy parts. When we know who we are, we can create more of what we want. Thanks for this post, and thanks for stopping by and liking my post, “Outside Influences in Everyday Life.”

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:28

      Thank you, and thanks for your great comment!!!

  32. suntithenai

    April 3, 2012 at 02:47

    Your hope that people will shift their lives to a better place is based, it seems, in a marvelous mind that has the ability to think and reason. My only comment to you as I near 65 is that people need to remember to shift their lives continually. One time of evaluation isn’t good enough… (as we live it) continually changes and thus we need to always take stock of where we are and what should be done to make our life more meaningful. If we don’t it just gets worse and worse until their is no escape from where we put ourselves!! Frank

    • 400daystil40

      April 3, 2012 at 04:04

      You are so correct… we do have to realize we are on a continual, never-ending life journey.

  33. ahmedfraih

    August 26, 2012 at 00:34

    if it is not the best article i’ve ever read, then its one of the best GREAT!!

    • 400daystil40

      August 26, 2012 at 23:01

      Wow, Ahmed – THANK YOU SO MUCH for the compliment! It means a lot to me and made me smile!!! 🙂


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