The self-adjustment bureau

Man pushing pawn on giant chess board"You can’t run from your fate.”

The (very underrated, IMO) Matt Damon and Emily Blunt movie The Adjustment Bureau screened the other night, and it got me thinking about the extent our lives are predetermined and how much power we have to change the direction of our lives.

This calls to mind a strongly resonant lyric in that heartwarming 90s song The Sunscreen Song (you know it): “Don’t congratulate yourself, or berate yourself too much either. Your choices are half chance – so are everyone else’s.”
I don’t know about you guys, but I personally believe in free will. I believe I am mapping my own course. But I also believe there are lessons for me to learn, and to teach, in this lifetime. This means that when friendships, relationships and jobs come to a close, they were not meant to be. (Doesn't mean I don't grieve for them though.)

I still don’t fully understand this stuff. I don't understand where my power ends or begins. I can have anything I want, but in some matters – the innate talents we possess, as well as the unpleasant stuff like chronic disease and death – as Paulo Coehlo writes in his bestselling, deeply stirring book The Alchemist: “it is written”.

What do you guys think? Are you calling the shots? Or is the universe steering your ship?