What Does “Discovering Your Destiny” Mean?

According to the dictionary, the word “destiny” is defined as: “the fate to which a person or thing is destined”; and the word “fate” is defined as: “the final result or outcome”.

Basically, your destiny is a predetermined plan of whatever life you were born to lead. Each of us was born with a unique set of personality traits, likes and dislikes, and talents. We are all the same, yet different.

Each of us is predestined to lead a particular life. Fulfilling your destiny involves more than just trudging off to work every day, putting in time till you can retire, it is the whole “package” such as working in the right career, living in the right city, having the right partner or soul mate in your life, and being in touch with as well as living your passions. Unfortunately, most people spend their lives existing, not living!

Anytime you steer away from fulfilling your destiny you automatically bring unhappiness and eventual failure to yourself. It is only by discovering your true self that you can even begin to envision your destiny: what lies ahead and what you are meant to accomplish during your lifetime. Maybe you are meant to be a great musician like Mozart, a great writer like Charles Dickens, or a great leader like Joan of Arc or Alexander the Great. You will never know what you are meant to do, until you take the time and make the effort to find out!

This topic has 3 sections:

  • Seven (7) signs that your destiny is trying to get your attention
  • A life lesson:  Are you ignoring the warning signs that you need to change your life?
  • Remarkable men & women:  People who have followed their destiny and made a difference!

Section 1: Seven (7) signs that your destiny (your life’s purpose) is trying to get your attention:

1)  Is your “fake” or “phony” life beginning to fall apart?

Explanation: You have set up a carefully staged life that you know is not real – it’s basically fake or phony. You knew that when you set it up, as you purposely chose image instead of substance. Now it is beginning to fall apart, and events are taking place of which you have no control.

Example: You are a 26-year old male, and you have known from a very young age that you are gay, but you live in denial. You meet a nice woman who falls in love with you. She thinks that she has met her soul mate. You then get married to please your parents and to do what you think society expects of you. Such a marriage would be possible if you were either straight or bisexual, but you’re not either of them. Two years later, your wife divorces you and runs off with another woman. Who says that God doesn’t have a sense of humor!

2)  Do you feel frustrated more often, for no legitimate reason?

Explanation: You feel a lingering frustration with your life, and find yourself getting angry more often than usual, many times for no specific reason or over something trivial.

Example: You stop by your favorite coffee shop to get your usual coffee, and the clerk behind the counter gets your order wrong. When you realize the clerk’s error, you yell at him and accuse him of being stupid. He’s only 16 years old, the same age as your son. You apologize to him and walk away wondering why you acted that way.

3)  Do you hate your job to the point where you don’t even want to go to work?

Explanation: You have a decent job that you have always been content with, and now suddenly you find yourself hating it to the point that you can’t bear to go there. Once at work, you are looking at the time on your cell phone or watch waiting for the day to be done. At day’s end, every bit of energy seems to be drained from you: physically, psychologically, and even spiritually. Your week-end is spent trying to recouperate from the past work week.

Example: You have been a model employee: rarely away ill, always on time, and work hard. Your employer pays you well, and you have no complaints about the working conditions. Everything seems to be going well (i.e. business as usual), till one day you just decide that you hate your job and don’t want to be there anymore, for no explainable reason.

4)  Are you getting sick more often than usual?

Explanation: Generally, you have always had good health, but now you find yourself getting sick more often, for no explainable reason.

Example: You eat well and exercise regularly. Lately, however, you seem to be getting a cold or the flu far more than usual. Whenever someone at the office where you work is sick, you are sure to get what that person has. You go to your doctor’s office, but all of the tests show that there is nothing wrong with you.

5)  Are unexplainable events happening that seem to be pushing you in a certain direction?

Explanation: You have a particular action plan on what you want to accomplish and you are successful in implementing it. Then, several weeks later an unforeseen event happens that reverses your accomplishment, and you find yourself back at “square one”! At roughly the same time an unexpected opportunity arises which can take your life in a different direction.

Example: You have saved money for years to buy your own condominium (condo). No more renting for you! You put a deposit on a condo and buy it. This is where you are going to spend the rest of your life, you say to yourself. The area in which you bought the condo is not a place that excites you, but it’s okay – it’s liveable. You move into your new home, and everything seems to be going well, till six weeks later you receive a notice from the building inspector that the condo’s strata council hired. The notice informs you that the entire building is a “leaky condo” and will cost a lot of money to fix. You are forced to sell your condo, and find yourself having to move back to a rental apartment — right back where you started! You explain your situation to your friends. Several days later your best friend tells you about a great apartment for rent in his neighborhood, a place that you really like. The apartment is yours if you want it!

6)  Do you have sporadic flashes of inspiration or visions?

Explanation: From out of nowhere, you periodically get flashes of inspiration. For a few seconds you see yourself with someone or doing something totally different (out of the ordinary). It’s as though someone or something is reaching out to you trying to get your attention.

Example: You are the sole single woman amongst your friends. The dating scene in your town in Idaho is a nightmare, and after many failed attempts at finding true love (i.e. your soul mate) you decide to take a vacation to relax and get away from your usual life. You are planning to go to Seattle, Washington, but you keep getting visions of palm trees and people hula dancing. You decide to follow your visions and change your travel plans to Hawaii where you meet the man of your dreams, and the strange thing is: he’s from your hometown back in Idaho! Imagine that! What a coincidence!

7)  Are you tired of accepting second best and yearn for a better life?

Explanation: Up until now you’ve always just accepted whatever has happened to you in life. While your life is okay, it’s not really what you want and need. You’re not ungrateful, you’re just tired of accepting second best in many areas of your life.

Example: You work hard and are a model employee. A job promotion becomes available in your place of work and you put your name forward as a candidate to be the manager. You have worked for the company for 5 years and know its operations better than anyone. The General Manager calls you into her office to tell you that you didn’t get the manager’s job, but the company is pleased to make you the Assistant Manager. Since the new manager is not currently employed with your company, your most important task will be to train him for however long it takes. Given your work ethic and job skills, it’s fairly obvious that it may be time for you to move on to “greener pastures”!

Section 2:  A Life Lesson – Ignore the Warning Signs at Your Own Peril

Do You Need Subtle, Consistent Reminders to Get Your Life in Order or Do You Need to Be “Bitch Slapped”?

Explanation: You may be fairly receptive to what the universe (i.e. God) is trying to tell you to do and you may be able to implement the necessary changes slowly, but consistently. If you have that type of personality, then the universe only needs to give you a gentle, consistent nudge in order to move you forward.

Do You Ignore the Warning Signs?

On the other hand, you may have the type of personality who ignores the signs that change needs to take place in your life, and you consistently turn your back on these signs. In such situations, the universe may have no other recourse but to “bitch slap” you in order to get your attention, and it may be necessary to do it more than once!

Are You Ignorant of What Is Happening Around You?

For example, many men can be quite stubborn, if not ignorant of what is going on around them. They just coast along not thinking of what lies ahead of them. To make matters worse, men, in general, consume far more alcohol (i.e. drink more booze) and smoke more dope (i.e. marijuana) than women in order to escape from their issues and problems. Under such circumstances, it’s very difficult to get their attention; hence the need for the universe to “bitch slap” them. Sometimes it can be quite drastic, but it definitely gets their attention!

Are You Refusing to Deal With Your Problems?

Example: You are a 30-year old male who has had family problems for as long as you can remember. Instead of dealing with your problems (e.g. going for counseling), you prefer to smoke marijuana every evening when you get home from work. It relaxes you, and helps you to forget about your problems. Unfortunately, it also prevents you from getting over your problems–it keeps you stuck in the past unable to move forward!

Your friends have consistently tried to get you to stop smoking dope and face your issues, but you refuse. Your place of work offers free counseling (no questions asked) to its employees for any issue, but you always have an excuse to not take advantage of that service.

This Man Is About to Be “Bitch Slapped” into Facing Reality!

One night you are smoking dope in your bedroom, as usual, when you decide to go into the living room. You fall asleep on the sofa. Unexpectedly, your dope which burns like a cigarette falls from the ashtray and sets the bedroom carpet on fire.

A while later your best friend happens to be walking by your apartment building and notices the smoke pouring out of your bedroom window. He races into the building and pulls you out of your apartment. You have smoke inhalation, but you are okay. Your apartment, however, has been completely destroyed by the fire. You have just been “bitch slapped”!

Decision Time: Are You Serious About Making Changes To Your Life!

This young man now has a choice to make: either deal with his issues, or be “bitch slapped” again. It’s his decision!  If he chooses not to deal with his issues, then he can expect a lifetime of what many would view as “bad luck” and misery.  His life is like a rat on a treadmill, going nowhere; and anyone who is dependent upon him will be in for a lot of disappointment.        

Section 3:  Remarkable Men & Women:

People Who Have Followed Their Destiny and Made a Difference!
Jean Cavanagh
Jean Cavanagh
Steve Grand
Steve Grand
Julia Child
Julia Child
John Lennon
John Lennon

1.  Jean Cavanagh: An Irish-American Opera Singer from Utah. An American Feminist Pioneer!

This is one of the people I dedicated my book to (the one described in the “Life Planning Book” section of this website), my American grandmother, Jean Cavanagh. This photo was taken when she lived in Dawson City during the Klondike Gold Rush, working at the Monte Carlo Saloon. She used to sing opera to the gold miners, men who had come from all over the world, but particularly from the USA to make their fortune in the Klondike gold fields.

At the age of 16 years old she and her older sister left New York City and moved to San Francisco, California.  After living in San Francisco for several months they boarded a steamship full of men heading north to the Klondike.  Her sister stayed in Eagle, Alaska while Jean headed to the Klondike (Dawson City) to make her own fame and fortune (an outrageous thing for a single woman to do in those days, as it was very much still the wild, wild west).    

In the Days When Men Were Men and Women Were Women

As she used to say: “In my day, men were men, and women were women. We didn’t need some man’s permission to live the life we wanted. We were perfectly capable of making our own way!” That she did! She used to scoff at any suggestion that the government should intervene more to protect women. Never once did she view herself as belonging to the “weaker” gender!  (In some ways, the character that comes closest to hers is that of Miss Kitty from the old 1950’s western TV series called GunSmoke.  Miss Kitty was the feisty owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas during the 1870’s.)

Whatever she wanted to do in life, she did, without hesitation. She was without a doubt a feminist pioneer, living many, many decades ahead of the Women’s Liberation Movement! She was born on May 13, 1890 in Belfast, Ireland. At that time Belfast was a divided city: you were either a Protestant or a Catholic. There were no other options! Her father, William Cavanagh, converted to Mormonism and endured incredible persecution for his beliefs.

The Need to Leave Belfast, Ireland and Set Sail for America

After an attempt on his life by an angry mob (of Protestants and Catholics) her father decided to leave Belfast and move to the USA to start a new life. Her father went first with his sons, and then later sent for the women (i.e. his wife and daughters) to join them. Jean arrived with her mother and sisters in New York City on March 3, 1893 aboard the ship, Anchoria, which had departed from Glasgow, Scotland. She was almost 3 years old. Her family then left New York City to begin their new life in Lehi, Utah, where she was raised a Mormon.

She Was One of the First People to Emigrate to the USA Via Ellis Island

She was one of the first people to emigrate to the USA via Ellis Island (the American federal government’s immigration clearing facility in New York City, which opened in 1892). Only 17% of the current American population can trace their family lineage back to Ellis Island. How amazing that even at a young age her life was unconventional. Her father was a prominent leader within the Mormon Church in Utah. Given her conservative upbringing, it is truly remarkable that she was so strong willed and independent minded.

At the age of 16 years, she already had her own career, following her passion to sing opera. She was financially independent and even had her own apartment (which was unheard of in those days). Many men within Dawson City sought her hand in marriage, only to be quite surprised to be told that she didn’t need a man to take care of her!  On May 23, 1909 she married one of the most eligible bachelors in town, Jarvis Hartley McLeod, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Dawson City.  They both relocated to the closest major city, Prince Rupert (near the Alaska Panhandle) where she had the chance to continue singing at the local opera house.  Given her beauty, charm, and intelligence, she soon became one of the most prominent women in town, an asset to her husband and an incredible mother of 9 children (5 girls and 4 boys).  Though she married upwards, she never lost sight of her compassion for those who weren’t as fortunate.  During the Great Depression, for example, many fathers abandoned their families, which pushed their wives and children into poverty (homelessness and starvation).  Jean used her husband’s money (without his knowledge) to take care of those neighbors who were suddenly abandoned.  Without her intervention, many families would have become homeless and more than likely have starved to death.    

She Knew Robert W. Service, the Famous Poet, During the Klondike Gold Rush

Apparently, one of her many suitors was the famous poet, Robert W. Service (who wrote “The Cremation of Sam McGee”). Her exceptional life and pioneering spirit have truly been an inspiration to me and many others!

2.  Steve Grand: An Amazing Country Singer from Chicago, Illinois

Steve Grand is a remarkable young man from Chicago, Illinois. He has been described as America’s first openly gay male country singer.  When he was only 26 years old, he cleverly marketed himself by means of the internet to such an extent that his career went from obscurity to celebrity status almost overnight!

First Hit Was “All-American Boy”

His first hit “All-American Boy” rocketed him to fame, and in just over a week had more than 1 million views on YouTube. The music video that introduced this song was produced and financed by himself. He may have gone into debt producing it, but it paid off! He is now one of the “hottest” male singers on the market! His sex appeal and talent make him hard to miss! Once you watch one of his videos, you are hooked! (For a sample of his talent, click onto the “Stay” video by Steve Grand in the Male Sexuality section of this website.)

Raised in a Catholic Home

Though he is currently basking in celebrity status, his life has been an incredible journey: one of hardship, disappointment, and determination. He grew up in a Catholic home. At the age of 13 years, he realized that he was gay. When he confided this to his parents, they sent him to counselling, so that he could embrace the heterosexual lifestyle (i.e. stop being gay, and turn straight). He spent his entire high school years in counselling being told that he was on the wrong path and should conform to what society expected him to be. His parents were so worried about him being gay that they didn’t even want him leaving the house, except to go to school. You can imagine what that did for his self-esteem! Somehow, against all odds, Steve stayed true to himself and came out at the age of 19.

Inspired by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones

From a very early age, he found comfort in music. At the age of 11, he started writing music, finding inspiration from many of the early British bands like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. For a while after high school, he attended the University of Illinois, but dropped out to pursue his real passion in life: music. By following his passion and by having the courage and determination to not give up, he has attracted success and fame like a magnet! He has inadvertently discovered the secret of success!

3. Julia Child: America’s Greatest Chef from Massachusetts

After graduating from Smith College in Massachusetts in 1934 with a Bachelor of Arts in History, Julia had no specific plans for her life, so for the next few years, she moved around the USA and worked overseas doing different jobs, everything from copywriter to top-secret researcher, mostly for the US government.  Then, in 1946, while in Sri Lanka, she married Paul Child. 

Julia Discovers Her Passion: French Cuisine

In 1948, Paul Child joined the US Foreign Service and was transferred to Paris, France.  It was while she was in France that she discovered her passion in life: food!  Not just any food, but French cuisine.  Many people would be shocked to find out that Julia was actually a terrible cook.  However, she was determined to over this handicap and become an exceptional cook no matter how difficult it may be.  Her genius in overcoming this incredible impediment was to take a very structured, almost scientific approach to learning how to cook properly:  she needed to follow a very specific recipe with exact measurements of each ingredient, and then have step-by-step instructions on how to do everything.  This process enabled her to excel and later even teach others. 

Julia Graduates from Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris

Her perseverance paid off:  in 1951, she graduated with a cooking diploma from the world-famous Cordon Bleu (cooking school in Paris).  She was the only woman in the class and what she did was unheard of in the 1950’s!  For the next few years, she immersed herself fully in French culture, fell totally in love with France and its amazing food, and just enjoyed life, throwing incredible dinner parties for friends who marveled at her simple, yet sophisticated dishes.  

Mastering the Art of French Cooking Is Published & The French Chef TV Show Is a Hit

In 1961, Paul Child retired, so they moved back to the USA.  His career was finished, but hers was just beginning.  Paul then did something few men did in the 1960’s:  he devoted himself to advancing his wife’s career.  In that same year, Julia’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was published in the USA.  Against all odds (many publishers had previously refused to publish it), her book became a best seller and sold over 1 million copies.  Given her success, she was offered her own cooking show, The French Chef, which ran from 1963 to 1973.  She had one of the first cooking programs on American TV – another first for Julia. 

America’s Most Famous Chef

Julia Child went on to become America’s most famous chef and one of the most famous in the entire world.  Not bad for someone who at one time couldn’t even cook!  Along the way, she modified her ingredients to include more American food and wines.  She was a mentor to many other chefs; and became the inspiration for the 2009 movie, “Julie, Julia”, much of which was based upon her book, My Life in France.  Julia Child embraced her destiny and succeeded against all odds, ignoring the social constraints placed upon her.  She was a true success story!

4. John Lennon: the Extraordinary Songwriter & Musician from The Beatles

John Lennon’s Tumultuous Background

John Lennon was born into a poor working-class family in Liverpool, England in 1940.  Both of his parents were unfit, so he ended up being raised by his Aunt Mimi.  Liverpool at the time was well known for being a rough-and-tumble city with high unemployment and high levels of poverty.  The majority of the men never did much with their lives: spending it drinking, fighting, and living on welfare (with their wives and numerous children).  Given John’s dysfunctional upbringing and poor educational achievements, he should have suffered the same fate as most of the other men; instead, he went on to become one of the world’s most famous and richest singer, songwriter, and musician.  An extraordinary achievement given his background.

John Discoveries His Passion in Life:  Music

The secret to John Lennon’s success was his early discovery of his life’s passion:  he loved music.  As a teenager, John was visited regularly by his mother who introduced him to the music of Elvis Presley, which captured his attention wholeheartedly.  Then, in 1956, his mother bought John his first guitar.  He was only 16 years old. That same year he formed his own band, the Quarrymen.  He frequently remarked to his aunt that one day he would be famous.  She just laughed at him and said that he’d never make a living playing music.  John began giving music performances and in the following year he met a 15-year-old Paul McCartney.  The two boys bonded and became inseparable.  John asked Paul to join his band.  Paul in turn recommended his friend, George Harrison, to become the lead guitarist (George was only 14 years old).  Two others joined the band and in early 1960 the band was renamed, The Beatles. 

The Beatles Extraordinary Music Achievements

In August 1960, the Beatles were given their first music gig in Hamburg, Germany.  John’s aunt tried her best to dissuade John from leaving Liverpool.  She wanted him to return to the Liverpool College of Art (which had previously expelled him for bad behavior).  Thankfully, John ignored her and went to Hamburg where the band continued to play until 1962 (the same year that Ringo Starr joined The Beatles).  Unfortunately, the long overnight performances in Hamburg took a toll on John’s health and he ended up dependent upon Preludin, a stimulant drug, to help him stay awake.  In 1962, the band consisted of John, Paul, George, and Ringo – the band that everyone recognizes as The Beatles. By early 1963, The Beatles were quite famous in the United Kingdom, but it was their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in the USA in 1964 that catapulted them to international stardom.  They only lasted for six years, officially breaking up in 1970.  By then, however, they had left their indelible mark on the music industry, especially on rock and roll.  The Beatles won seven Grammy Awards; four Brit Awards; an Academy Award for the best original song score for the 1970 documentary film, Let It Be; fifteen Ivor Novello Awards (an annual British award given out for exceptional songwriting and composing), and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Each one of them also became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), which was presented to them in person in 1965 at Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II – not bad for four poor young men from Liverpool who thanks to their perseverance and creativity achieved super stardom! 

John Lennon’s Departure from The Beatles and Move to New York City

In 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono, and left The Beatles.  Many to this day blame Yoko Ono for the breakup of The Beatles.  She was not liked by his fellow band members, nor by many fans.  Two years later, in 1971, they both moved to New York to start a new life.  By then, John had been drinking heavily and using other drugs such as LSD and even heroin, the fate of many rock stars.

The Murder of John Lennon

Tragedy hit in 1980 when a mentally unbalanced fan shot and killed John just outside his New York City home.  At the time of his death, his estate was worth $200 million US.  Decades after his death, his estate had amassed hundreds of millions more in value, hitting the $800 million mark in 2022.

John Lennon’s Complex Sexuality and Unfulfilled Love

In 2015, Yoko Ono shocked the world when she revealed that John had been bisexual.  Yoko may have been his wife, but by all accounts, it would appear that the one great love of his life was Paul McCartney, his longtime boyhood friend and band member.  Yoko even admitted that she viewed Paul as her greatest rival for John’s affections (not, other women).  May Pang, John’s ex-girlfriend, wrote in her memoirs that John had confided to her that he wanted an affair with Paul, as he was quite attracted to him.  George Harrison commented that when Paul entered the room, John forgot about everyone else.  Unfortunately, given the social constraints of the 1950’s and 1960’s (and even onwards), it would have been impossible for John to have acted out his sexual desires, as sex between men was illegal and carried with it a prison sentence.  

John Lennon and Paul McCartney:  True Soul-Mates

Few men on this planet had the connection that John Lennon and Paul McCartney had.  They met when John was just 16 years old and Paul was 15, and they bonded.  They were soul-mates, striving to help each other get out of the never-ending vicious cycle of poverty and depressive atmosphere of Liverpool and make something of themselves.  John’s family disapproved of Paul and Paul’s family disapproved of John, yet these two young men managed to ignore the negativity around them and work together to write songs, one hit after another.  Their creative partnership propelled them into fame and fortune.  One music newspaper described The Beatles as the best-selling music act of all time! 

Life Point:  Learn from John Lennon’s Mistakes

How sad it is that someone as handsome, talented, smart, sexy, and witty as John Lennon could not be with the person that he truly loved and trusted.  He may still be alive today if he had been able to go the extra step and be himself.  It is interesting to note that many years ago, Paul told the media that he wanted to tell John that he loved him, but couldn’t (due to social constraints present at the time).  Perhaps if John had confided to Paul how he felt, he may have been quite surprised to learn that his feelings were reciprocated, as Paul loved him (but felt compelled to keep it a secret).  John must have assumed that he alone felt that way towards Paul, and Paul felt nothing towards him, which was not the case.  If they had been honest and direct with each other, their life stories may have turned out very different, particularly John Lennon’s.

There may be a life lesson in this tragedy:  for your own success and happiness, it is necessary to ignore what others are telling you to do, and do what you feel led to do!  Stop trying to please everyone around you.  It is your life, and you need to live it!  John followed his passion for music and it led him to great success; yet he did not follow his passion when it came to his personal life (and in the end he paid a heavy price).  There is a lesson here to be learned for all of us! 

The Beatles
John Lennon & Paul McCartney