One of my friends prompted me to pen down my views on “Hard work and Destiny.”

The moment I heard this, my mind screamed ‘Hard work, obviously!’ but my heart though in agreement, was a little skeptical.

I have been a firm believer of destiny all my life. I’ve always believed that what is destined my way, will come through, no matter what; that whatever roads I’ve taken, whoever I have met in my life- it was destiny at play; that things happen a certain way and we cross paths, because it was meant to happen that way.

Infact, it is also what spiritual gurus have been teaching for years- ‘We are controlled by our destiny.’

 But a few questions kept buzzing in my head.

Does it mean that I should stop making any efforts for my success because none can change my destiny? (Wouldn’t it be a form of pride and egotism…)

Does it mean that I should accept my failures as I was destined for it? (Wouldn’t it make me complacent, pessimist…)

Does it mean that I should accede to my situation without trying to bounce back? (Wouldn’t it make me bitter, dispirited and unaspiring…)

So I explored the other perspective too.

Apart from belief in the role of destiny, since childhood, we are also taught to work hard; that you cannot sit idle waiting for success to knock at your doorstep; that success comes to those who work for it.

A Sanskrit shloka says ‘Mum Niyatim Niychami’, meaning, ‘I control my destiny.’

I remember my father telling me, if he ever saw me idling away my time (despite a book in my hand,) “Just holding the book wouldn’t ensure that the knowledge therein would be transferred to your mind. You will have to do the effort to read, understand and learn.”


The famous teaching of Geeta also reiterates the same, “Do your duty without thinking about the results,” which essentially implies that you have to work and then, if it is written in your destiny, you will certainly get it.

Mr. Barrack Obama believes “Our destiny is not written for us, it’s written by us.”

And so did the famous wordsmith of all times, William Shakespeare, when he said, ”It’s not in our stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

You can peek into the life of any of the successful or great men who lived and you will find that without hard work, determination and perseverance, they wouldn’t have been successful or famous.

Be it the famous scientists like Einstein or Newton; the artists like Leonardo da Vinci or M F Hussain; the accomplished sportsperson like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli or Chris Gayle; the wealthiest of businessmen like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Sergey Brin or Warren Buffet, each one of them have faced their challenges and tasted failures before relishing the fruits of victory and fame. These people worked hard to shape their destiny.

Now, one can argue that they achieved everything in life because it was their destiny!

But can we trust that they would have still reached such great heights (believing that they were destined to,) where they are today; had they NOT worked for it?

I have doubts over it.

In my view, hard work is married to destiny. The way a marriage cannot be deemed happy or everlasting without an active contribution and efforts of both the partners, a life cannot be fathomed as successful and blissful till hard work and destiny go hand in hand.

We can neither decide nor control what comes our way, but we can certainly decide what we make out of it. So if stones are thrown at us, we can either decide to cry over our fate or collect the stones to build a palace!

It’s only wise to prove ourselves worthy of the goodness in our destiny by being diligent while at the same time, accept the challenges that we are destined to face, with grit and grace.

©Vandana Bhasin