What counts more, working hard or believing in fate?

Art by Gianne Encarnacion

In The Adjustment Bureau, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt fall furiously in love after meeting once, but are separated by forces that safeguard their destiny, the organization for which the film is named. They both fight and work hard for their love, but the books say they can’t be together — it’s their fate. It’s a push and pull between two ways of getting through life and getting what you want, which begs the question: what is the key to succeding? We put hardwork and fate to the test.

On working hard

There’s an old saying that goes a little something like this: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Not that everything has to be paid for with money, but rather, you can get anything and everything with one thing: hard work. It’s the quid pro quo of society.

Different things will come into play, and certain circumstances will present themselves at inconvenient instances; but if one thing prevails, it’s the idea that the work you put into something will hold its own against anything. Working hard allows you to drive yourself towards whatever it is you want, regardless of what’s in your way. It’s oftentimes a slow and arduous process, but anyone who’s had to work hard for something will tell you that it’s always worth it.

If you count on nothing but luck and fate — inactively working towards a goal — it is assumed that you will accept whatever comes your way without any complaints, whether or not it means getting to soar into success or bellyflopping into the dark abyss of the “what if?” That’s your fate, right?

Apart from being a way to get anywhere, hard work will teach you invaluable lessons about time, value and effort. When you look at something you’ve worked hard for, you assign more value to it because you remember the long hours and all the effort you put in to get it. Think of it this way: that new phone you’ve been saving up for will mean more in your heart compared to one that was just handed to you by your parents. The celebration is much sweeter knowing that you “graduated” by clawing your way through school and staying up late nights to study, versus the non-feeling you get after cheating and paying your way through all your exams and projects. It’s just a feeling, yes; but that feeling is unlike any in the world. Now, time to pay for that lunch. Neal P. Corpus

On believing in fate

Believing in our destiny is nothing without hard work. But to say that working hard alone is what makes someone successful is to say we exist in a vacuum. Let’s be real: factors like gender, race, wealth, and social status have big impacts on how people move within society. The thing about believing in fate is that there’s an acknowledgement of a greater system beyond our control. Some think of it as religion, or the Universe; for others, it can be the kind of culture where they belong.

We all have our own advantages and disadvantages. But a big part of overcoming the challenges that’ll come our way is being able to understand the circumstance we are in, and being smart about how we deal with it. Yes, working hard means deciding to make things happen. But things won’t always go our way no matter how damn hard we try and, sometimes, the fault is not just on us anymore.

The thing about believing in our fate is that some paths don’t necessarily tell us where to go. Fate makes us acknowledge the other possibilities that we might not have planned for ourselves. We may not always get what we want, but we get what we need — lessons, experiences. This isn’t meant to validate inequality or relying only on what was given to us, but rather to help us seek fulfillment in what we can do for now — and then carrying on with trust in the process. After all, it takes a lot to change ourselves, let alone the system.  Tin Sartorio

Tags:
#career #culture #self

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