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 the place where we are heading.
Going back further, the Latin word destinare originally meant “to make firm or establish” — like travelling with a firm, established ‘destination’ — so it is no surprise that some people still use the word destiny in this way, to mean something that is fixed, inevitable, pre-ordained, and out of our control.
But, over time, the meaning of that word destinare changed. It shifted to become “the action of intending someone or something for a purpose.” My destination is the airport because I am intending to catch a plane for the purpose of travelling to another city for a productive meeting or relaxing holiday.
This is the meaning we use in Inner Leadership.
When we choose our destiny as an outcome we are intending, for a purpose we have chosen, that doesn’t guarantee that we will get there. But it does give us more energy to more forward and more flexibility to respond to surprises. And in a time of change, that makes us much more likely to arrive.
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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