Do we choose our own path? Or does it choose us? Are we creating our lives? Or are we following some grander plan that’s already been laid out? Are we in control of what happens to us? Or are we simply in control of how we respond?

Big questions to be sure.

I was raised to believe we not only choose our own path, but we’re in charge of making it all happen. I was taught to set goals and achieve. Needless to say I’ve always been very independent. I moved out and got married at age 19, put myself through college, and eventually started my own business.

Sounds like the definition of choosing a path, doesn’t it?

But as I look back at my life, I have to ask myself: Did I choose that path or was it chosen for me by society, conditioning, or my parent’s influence?

If I’m being honest, I have to say that path was largely chosen for me.

Yes, I had free will and made choices along the way, but the overall path was not a choice. It was just what you do when you grow up. You decide what you want, set goals, and go after them.

On that path, I was very often frustrated and disappointed.

Often it seemed that no matter how hard I worked, there were times that things didn’t go according to my plan. Times I was disappointed. Even heartbroken.

I’ve been told that’s because I was too close to it.

If I had the 30,000-foot-view of my life—and I could see the entire life journey, and not just the part I’m experiencing right now—I would appreciate that it’s all part of a grander plan.

Well, if that’s the case it sounds like the path has already been mapped out.

Some may call it destiny. Others credit God, spirit, or the universe. Whatever it is, it sounds a lot more like following a path than choosing one.

It may sound like semantics to you, but I would argue it’s much more than that.

Choosing a path means deciding what you want and taking action to achieve it.

Following a path means being open to what shows up, listening to your heart, your higher self, that little voice of inspiration, and doing what it leads you to do, even if it doesn’t make sense (which it often doesn’t!).

Choosing a path means you know where you’re going.

Following means you have no idea where your destination is. Instead, you take it one step at a time, and trust you’re being led exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Both require courage, but following also requires trust and faith.

And that can be the exciting part. Because very often where you end up is much grander than you could have ever dreamed up on your own.

Author's Bio: 

After spending 25 years in the marketing industry, Debbie LaChusa became so frustrated with its "be more, do more, have more" mentality that she began speaking out about it. She wrote a book entitled "Breaking the Spell: The Truth about Money, Success, and the Pursuit of Happiness" and created the Money Success Happiness blog all in an effort to help others learn how to stop chasing money, success, and happiness and instead discover the true path to a happy, healthy, wealthy life. To read the first chapter of "Breaking the Spell" for free, visit