Difference between Fate and Destiny

Key difference: The terms ‘fate’ and ‘destiny’ are quite closely related. In fact, they are often believed to be synonyms. Even though it can be said that the two words are interchangeable, or synonymous, there is actually a slight difference in the manner that they are used.

The terms ‘fate’ and ‘destiny’ are quite closely related. In fact, they are often believed to be synonyms. Both, fate and destiny refer to a predetermined future, where there are a predetermined course of events, which cannot be deterred no matter what. Both terms infer that there is a fixed natural order which dictates what happens in the future. This fixed natural order can be dictated by the universe, God, etc.

Even though it can be said that the two words are interchangeable, or synonymous, there is actually a slight difference in the manner that they are used. It can be said that the terms have distinct connotations.

‘Fate’ usually refers to ‘a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events.’ Fate refers to events that are ordered, that are inevitable or unavoidable. It is what is going to happen. When one thinks of ‘fate,’ ‘The Fates’ are bound to come up. The Fates were three sisters in Greek Mythology that dispensed fate. They are usually represented as spinning tapestries depicting human lives. Every weave and knot represented events that dictated the human’s lives. Eventually, when it was time for the human to die, the thread was cut off.

Destiny, on the other hand, is depicted as ‘finality of events.’ In fact, the term ‘destiny’ is quite similar to the term ‘destination.’ Destiny is essentially where one is supposed to end up, the end of things. It has a more general, open-ended and a more overview outlook, as compared to fate. Fate is narrower, in fact, it can be said that destiny is the end result, whereas fate is the way to get there.

Furthermore, it can be said that generally, ‘fate’ is used to refer to something with a negative connotation, whereas, ‘destiny’ is more neutral. ‘Destiny’ is mainly used to refer to something with a more positive connotation, for example: ‘He was destined for greatness.’ As compared to, ‘It is always his fate to be left behind.’

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Comments

In addition, 'Fate' is that which you cannot change. 'Destiny' is that which you’re meant to do. While fate is what happens when you don’t take responsibility for your life, destiny is what happens when you commit to growing, learning, and taking chances. Being “destined for greatness” only comes through active and conscious decisions. But fate is what happens when you let other people and external circumstance dictate your life.

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