Here’s an interesting quote from New Thought author Prentice Mulford:

“Fate obviously governs the mineral, vegetable, animal kingdoms, as well as the lower realms of man, in whom the Will is not yet developed. Driven by the merciless fate, the individual who belongs to this category is fatally led in the direction traced by his previous activities; he is like an inanimate toy of all events.

But, as soon as man knows how to Will, he can defeat fate and set his own destiny. He then exerts a direct action on ordinary life events: they respond to his desires, instead of overwhelming him as it happened in the past. This is what made Edgar Allan Poe say: “God, tightly chaining nature by destiny, gave freedom to human Will”.

Prentice Mulford clearly distinguishes between the two men:

One that is driven by fate and his own impulses and the one who is a master his own destiny.

The difference is clearly in the mastery over the Will.

Someone who is driven by impulses is not activating his Will. His Will remains latent and inactive – it’s not gone… it’s still there, just latent.

This is the type of a man who is like a leaf in the wind. Whatever the direction the wind blows, so he goes.

As you can imagine, it doesn’t lead to an accomplished life.

On the other hand, we have the man who has achieved a mastery over his own Will and is in control of his destiny.

This man knows that impulses come and go but the Will is steady and firm. He may have an impulse to go watch a movie instead of working, but he knows what’s the priority at that particular moment. He controls his impulses… the impulses don’t control him.

He works when it’s time for working, and he rests and relaxes when it’s time for pleasure.

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