People who shape their own destiny have these 5 personality traits

“A real man makes his luck, right Dawson?” – Titanic

Whether you liked or disliked the character Caledon Cal Hockley in Titanic, he might have had a point. 

Not about being a “real man” but about a person’s ability to create their own fortune. 

Most people, however, go where the wind blows and allow externalities to control their journey through life.

And it’s understandable. 

Societal expectations are strong. Life presents us with seemingly insurmountable challenges. 

It’s often easier to go with the flow and let things be as they will be. 

Others take the bull by the horns and forge their own path; they shape their own destiny. These are the innovators, the rebels.

So what’s the difference between these two groups?

Those in the latter group have these five traits. 

1) They have a purpose

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”― Friedrich Nietzsche.

Without knowing what we want our destiny to look like, it is impossible to shape it. 

Therefore, the first trait that people who “make their own luck” have is purpose

They know what they want and why they want it. 

Not only that, but their purpose is big enough and inspiring enough to make them want to go after it, even when times are tough.

If we look at some of the people considered the most successful in the world, they all had a huge purpose behind what they did. 

  • Walt Disney once said that his purpose was to create happiness. Most would agree that he certainly did that. 
  • Steve Jobs had a goal  “to make the best devices in the world, not to be the biggest.” Jobs is probably overquoted, but as I type this article on a Macbook, I can’t argue with this statement. 
  • Martin Luther King famously said, “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

You may dislike some things these figures did, but that’s not the point here. 

The point is…

Because of their strong purpose, they were able to change not only their destiny but their industry and, in some cases,  the world. 

Although the figures mentioned above are great examples, not everyone’s purpose will be so public or grand. 

Not everyone needs to change the world. 

It could be something like raising a loving family, experiencing as much of the world as possible, or bringing joy to the people around you. 

While having a purpose is a great start, acting on it can seem too difficult, if not impossible, to some. 

But not to those who control their own destiny because they have this next trait.

2) They have a positive-mindset 

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”― Henry Ford

The world is full of challenges and expectations. Taking control of one’s path and directing in the desired way can seem nearly impossible. 

Without a positive mindset, people who change their own destiny would not have the courage to go against the grain and, often, to take the road “less traveled by”

3) They are self-disciplined 

simple changes to make when youve stopped growing as a person People who shape their own destiny have these 5 personality traits

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

It’s all well and good to have a purpose and a positive mindset, but without self-discipline, we are destined to be dreamers. 

People who shape their own destiny put in the effort that they need to do day-in-day-out even when they ‘don’t feel like it’

They know that to achieve something as ambitious as changing the path in life that seems set out for them takes repeated action. 

Want to beat the odds and become a bestselling author, to spend your days compiling and sharing your knowledge on topics you are passionate about? 

To become a true master, some would say you need to practice the art of writing for 10,000 hours

Whether this 10,000-hour rule is valid or not, becoming a great writer certainly takes self-discipline. 

Is your purpose to help people in need by becoming a doctor? 

Before becoming a fully licensed doctor, you will need to put in around eight years of University study and another three to seven years in a residency program.

Want to provide financial freedom for your children to allow them to pursue whatever they want in life? 

It turns out that making a lot of money takes self-discipline too. 

The average millionaire works around 60 hours a week. The US average was less than 39 hours a week in 2021. 

That means millionaires work about twenty hours a week more than the average person. 

I could go on, but you get the point.

No matter what path you choose to carve, it will likely take self-discipline above and beyond what is normal. 

4) They persevere 

Life throws challenges at us all. Those who shape their own destiny tend to have even more of them.

Let me tell you a story to illustrate. 

A single mother living partly off welfare loved writing. So she wrote a book. 

However, the book was rejected by not one, two, or even three…but twelve publishing houses. Twelve!

I’d wager a guess that most people would have given up after two or three rejections. Hell, most people wouldn’t have finished a book. 

It would have been logical for her to conclude that becoming a successful writer was not her destiny. 

But this woman didn’t give up. She persevered. 

If you haven’t guessed by now, the woman is J.K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. 

She could have easily called it quits; no one would have blamed her. 

But because of her perseverance (and talent), she would go on to sell 600 million copies of her books, making her the 7th bestselling author of all time. 

This is just one example, however. 

Not everyone wants to shape their destiny to become a writer. Not everyone will be rejected by 12 publishing houses. 

But those who attempt to shape their own destiny undoubtedly get rejected and suffer setbacks which would cause many to give up.

They don’t, of course; they persevere. 

5) They are independent thinkers

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”- Steve Jobs.

People who choose their own direction in life rather than letting life choose it for them know to question things, even if these things are well-accepted. 

They know that often the things we believe to be true in society were created by people who were probably no smarter than you or me. 

While they might listen to others’ opinions, they don’t accept them blindly. They come to their own conclusions by trusting themselves and their intuition. 

The bottom line 

So there you have it. 

These traits are essential to those who shape their own destiny. 

I hope you found this short post informative and enjoyable to read. 

But most of all, I hope it inspires you to go your own way if that’s what you desire

Picture of Mal James

Mal James

Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business. As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys. In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.