Becoming Your Best Self: The Discovery Of Destiny

Certainly, one question everyone asks, at all ages, is: what do I want to be when I grow up? For young people, this is an unavoidable question. But I imagine that many adults secretly ask themselves the same question, because it seems that it is never too late to reflect on these types of possibilities. I fear that our modern culture offers so few opportunities for young people to discover their proper purpose. Without a clear sense of where we are going, it is almost miraculous if we should somehow arrive there.

It is in this sense that I would like to consider the idea of destiny, and the importance it has for our development and satisfaction. In the sense I am using it here, it does not refer to what will happen, but what would be best to have happen – the best possible outcome for our lives.

I plan to define destiny and offer examples from a variety of cultures which represent a concern for helping people discover their own more thoroughly.

Alan Fox is a Professor of Asian and Comparative Philosophy and Religion in the Philosophy Department, and former Director of both the UD Honors Program and the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at the University of Delaware. In 2006 he was named US Professor of the Year for the state of Delaware by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 2012, he was named one of first two National Teaching Fellows for the American Association of Philosophy Professors. In 2020 he received the inaugural UD Honors College Excellence in Teaching Award. He has published primarily on Chinese Buddhism and Philosophical Daoism.

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