You're In Control, Maybe...

The illusion of freewill gives us the false confidence of being in control of our lives.

We like thinking or believing that we have control over our lives and future. Well, yes... But no. I'll explain. Everything that currently exists or is currently happening is dependent on things that happened before. The present is the product of the past..... and the future is the product of the present. Cause and Effect, action and consequences. This is the law of causality. Everything in existence is connected through the causal chain.

Some set of individuals were born, these individuals interacted, these interactions eventually led to your birth. You're influenced by your genes, your parents, your environment, and your peers. You develop a mind of your own (hopefully), and you also begin to influence back. But your ability to influence your surroundings was determined by the surroundings you were born into. Every choice you make is determined by the options available, the ability to spot the options and make a choice is determined by pre-existing conditions which you know nothing about. Of course, you can change your life, but this change is determined by the template that necessitated the change. Your ability to be influenced by others and resist influence is determined by previous influences you were exposed to, some you're unaware of. More exposure and knowledge (if you're "lucky" to recognize one, let alone make use of it) will increase your ability to make better and more informed choices. Still, the quality of these choices is determined by the conditions from which the choices arose.

You made the choice, but you didn't make the options that created the choice. You're free to the extent you don't feel restraint. Your awareness of your 'prison determines your sense of freedom.' But your prison is just one of many; every freedom you attain exposes you to another layer of prison. 'We always regret bad decisions, promising that we would choose differently if given another chance, of course. But if you didn't make the wrong choice, you wouldn't experience the results, making you know it was a wrong choice; therefore, you would still make the wrong decision.

You can only choose differently if you already know the outcome, but knowledge of the outcome is only possible once you've made a choice. So... You would still make the same decision; this makes regret futile and unnecessary. You can only make the most of what you have, learn, and optimize... And the cycle continues. And for some who made good decisions, they wonder if they could've made better decisions. Limited options give us the illusion of control over our choices. When options abound, choices would always be questioned, no matter the outcome. It's the big "What If?". We influence as much as we're influenced, individuals as part of the collective, a cosmic dance of Cause and Effect. So, yes, you're in charge of your life because you made those choices, but no, you're not in charge because you didn't determine the options that made the choices possible.

This brings into perspective the huge role luck plays in our lives. Luck being variables we never accounted for, variables outside our control but yet, powerful enough to influence the course of our lives. Success is a community effort, not an individual one There are no self-made billionaires, or self made anything. We're a product of our genetics, environment and the choices we made in response to them.

Since we can never exercise control to the extent we desire over the events of our lives, we can at least act on knowledge gained through first-hand experience, second-hand experience, memory, and introspection. Armed with this knowledge, we can learn to live deliberately, with purpose, and without regrets. This doesn't eliminate the need for due diligence before making a decision. This is not an endorsement of carelessness, it's basically an attempt to call to your awareness of the processes, nuances, and unseen forces directing the flow of our lives. Understanding this gives you a sense of being in control of your life, which you're actually not, something I've already explained.

This is also not an appeal to supernatural forces, for I consider it arrogance to assume a supernatural force. It implies that we have sufficient knowledge about the natural world to know that there's another beyond it. The outlandish claim is often the refuge of the willfully ignorant and the mentally lazy, I presume you're not one of them.

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