Lots of ways to cut this cake. Fate to me is something that is inevitable. Not necessarily out of our control, but bound to happen. Free will is our right to make the decisions and actions which we choose. Fate cannot affect your free will, however, your free will determines fate.
We’re all on our own story arcs. At any point in time, the actions we’ve been taking will be what leads us to our next fate. These are the day to day choices we are willingly taking to get us from where we are to (hopefully) where we want to be. Ideally you’ve determined your own fate already with the goals and aspirations you set.
We can change the arc of our story at any given time with an act of free will, be it drastic or otherwise. Should you choose to stay on the path you’re on don’t be surprised when fate deals you it’s appropriate outcomes. Fate only seems out of our control when you’re not being mindful of where the decisions you’re making are taking you.
is it possible to influence the fate of others?
Yes, your actions affect others. Depending on the magnitude of your actions towards another person, you could completely alter their fate. However, they still hold the ultimate power to decide how your actions will affect them. Barring you taking someone else’s life entirely, you can only influence their fate as much as they’ll allow you to.
when have you felt like you had no free will?
Every time I’ve had to go to the DMV. Or deal with any government office for that matter.
Joking aside, I’ve always known that I’ve had a choice in any situation. Through grade school, we all had days dreaming of doing something other than sit in class. There was nothing stopping me from getting up at any moment and running off to go ride my bike or play in the park. Yet, I knew soon I’d be free of classroom restrictions and chose to bear that burden.
Free will is absolute. You have the power to stop, or start, doing anything in your life at any given moment. The only caveat being that for every action there is a consequence. Your choices will always produce a result.
Again, what makes people feel powerless over free will is their knowledge of the consequences their actions will return. We can often feel trapped in the notion that you must be doing X to provide for Y, or Z. You may not like or enjoy X, but it’s what allows you to reach Y and Z which is what you want. It’s very hard to break free of our internal binds around what we think to be necessary sacrifices in order to reach the results we want.
In reality, X has many different shapes and sizes. Your free will must take it’s most creative form in defining the life you’d like to achieve and fate will follow accordingly.