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How you are born is destiny, how you die is decision

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“It is choice and not chance that determines your destiny” — Jean Nidetch
Bill Gates said: “If you are born poor, it is not your mistake, but if you die poor it is your mistake.” The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

In life, the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved. In his legendary book, Julius Ceasar, William Shakespeare said: “Men are often the masters of their fate, the fault, o dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings.”

The philosophy of destiny that so many people deceptively believed and that has made so many to be complacent is that no matter what we do or don’t do, there is a future waiting for us. This is a fallacy that the earth has endured and it has destroyed the future of many.

I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the road. The future is not what we wait for; it is what we create now.

Long time ago, there was an old man who lived in a tiny village and was well known for his wisdom. It seemed he could answer any question that was posed at him. And there was a boy who had questioned the wise man for few times just to trick and prove the old man could be wrong.

However, he hadn’t been successful until one day he found another idea: He would hold a little bird in his hand and hide it behind his back and then ask the wise man whether the bird in his hand was dead or alive.

Regardless of the wise man’s response, the young boy had a winning approach: If the wise man said the little bird was alive, the boy would squeeze hard to kill the bird to prove that he was wrong. On the other hand, if the wise man said it was dead, the boy would let the bird fly off, proving that the wise man was wrong. So, either ways, the wise man would be wrong.

The boy thought it was his time to shine. As he approached the wise man, he said: “Old man, there is a bird in my hand, is it alive or dead?” The old man was quiet. The boy asked again: “Old man, in my hand is a bird, is it alive or dead?” Still, the old man said nothing. The boy, for the third time, asked again: “Old man, in my hand is a bird, is it alive or dead?” Then finally, the old man gave his answer with a low, but firm voice, saying: “Whether the bird is dead or alive, it is in your hands!”

There is a common saying that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it. One of the most inspirational and awesome stories of fate, destiny and destination is that of the living legend, Stevie Wonder. Life was in no way fair to Steve, but he eventually made a wonder out of it.

Stevland Hardaway Morris was born on May 13, 1950. The American musician, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist became one of the most creative and loved musicians and performers of the late 20th Century. Due to being born premature, he had retinopathy, which made him blind shortly after birth.

Stevland started playing various musical instruments at an early age. When he was 11, he sang his own composition, “Lonely Boy.” People were astounded by his ability to play numerous instruments and sing simultaneously, which made people refer to him as “a little wonder” and later called him Stevie Wonder.

Despite his disability, he released his first album at the age of 12 and several albums of songs thereafter. On August 6, 1973, Stevie was involved in a serious automobile accident while on tour in North Carolina that left the 23-year-old in a coma for four days and resulted in a partial loss of his sense of smell and temporary loss of his sense of taste in addition to his blindness.

In spite of the setback, at the age of 25, Stevie won two consecutive Grammy Awards and never stopped composing and releasing his albums.

Stevie Wonder, being a prominent figure in music, has till date recorded over 30 top 10 hits and won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, which is the highest number ever won by a solo artist. He won a lifetime achievement award, an academic award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

He made a difference in the music world, starting his career at the age of 11, and despite his blindness, played the piano, organ, clarinet, melodica, synthesizer, harmonica, bongos congas, drums and bass guitar. Fate made him blind, but he alone turned it to an amazing thing- the gift of blindness.

Abraham Lincoln said: “The best way to predict the future is to design it.” In life, if you don’t know where you are going, any road would take you there. Decisions determine destiny. You cannot change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails to always reach your destination.

Jack Welch, former chairman and chief executive of General Electric (GE) said: “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” Don’t ‘delegate’ your life to circumstances and situations. While seeking the face of God for direction, you must also take full ownership of your life. It is great abandonment and dereliction of purpose when you are waiting for God to do what he has fully equipped you to do for yourself.

You have the right to choose and not to accept any ill-fated destiny.


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Bill GatesGbenga Adebambo
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