I've thought a lot about destiny lately. Destiny is one of those romantic, whimsical sounding words that gets thrown around a lot. We tend to think of destiny as this vague, ever-after kind of concept, where what's beyond the mist of the future is unknown to us. And to some degree, there is an air of mystery to destiny. But there's a large part of it that we control ourselves.
Achieving our destiny requires risk. Writers "risk" every time we sent out a submission... every time we have our work critiqued. No one likes to hear less than positive things about their work, and yet with this risk comes the possibility of improvement, and with improvement comes the possibility of achieving the destiny we long for.
There's no magical formula for achieving destiny, but if there was it would probably be blood, sweat, and tears, along with a heavy dose of good fortune. The risk means nothing without the determination to see it through. Determination to keep trying... keep writing... keep learning.
Ludwig van Beethoven had a destiny in mind for himself... to be a concert pianist and famous composer. Despite a lousy childhood plagued by an abusive father and a lost opportunity to study with the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Beethoven was well on his way to acheiving his destiny. Then tragedy. He began to lose his hearing. The man with no family, no close friends, with only music as his companion was going deaf. Did it make him mad? I'm sure. Was he sad? Wouldn't you be? Did he give up? No. Thanks to the brilliant mind he was born with, he continued to compose music even after he was profoundly deaf. He found a way to keep music in his life, and though he'd lost part of his dream, he didn't lose it all. His 9th (and final) symphony, the "Ode to Joy", premiered in Vienna, Austria, in 1824. Beethoven sat facing the orchestra, imagining in his mind the beauty he had created. When the music ended he was completely unaware of the thunderous applause and standing ovation of the massive audience, until someone told him to stand up, turn around, and take a bow. When he did, he realized his dream had come true. He had achieved his destiny.
Beethoven's destiny turned out a little different than he originally imagined, but he achieved it nonetheless. He risked. He was determined. He achieved.
What are you willing to do to achieve your destiny?