Destiny is an absolutely definite and inexorable ruler. Physical ability and moral determination count for nothing. It is impossible to perform the simplest act when the gods say “no.” I have no idea how they bring pressure to bear on such occasions; I only know that it is irresistible.
—Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) English Occultist, Mystic, Magician
If the course of human affairs be considered, it will be seen that many things arise against which heaven does not allow us to guard.
—Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527) Florentine Political Philosopher
I am master of my own destiny, and I can make my life anything that I wish it to be.
—Roger McDonald (b.1941) Australian Novelist, Poet, Screenwriter, Writer
We are no more free agents than the queen of clubs when she victoriously takes prisoner the knave of hearts.
—Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762) English Aristocrat, Poet, Novelist, Writer
We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle.
—E. M. Forster (1879–1970) English Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist
A strict belief in fate is the worst kind of slavery; on the other hand there is comfort in the thought that God will be moved by our prayers.
—Epicurus (c.341–270 BCE) Greek Philosopher
A word, a look, an accent, may affect the destiny not only of individuals, but of nations. He is a bold man who calls anything a trifle.
—Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) Scottish-American Industrialist
The destiny of man is in his own soul.
—Herodotus (c.485–425 BCE) Ancient Greek Historian
‘Tis all a chequerboard of nights and days Where Destiny with men for pieces plays: Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays, And one by one back in the closet lays.
—Omar Khayyam (1048–1123) Persian Mathematician
The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
—George Boardman (1801–31) American Baptist Minister
No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist, Painter
That which is not allotted the hand cannot reach; and what is allotted you will find wherever you may be.
—Sa’Di (Musharrif Od-Din Muslih Od-Din) (1184–1283) Persian Poet
We write our own destiny; we become what we do.
—Soong Mei-ling (1898–2003) Taiwanese First Lady, Politician, Painter
Every man carries with him the world in which he must live.
—Francis Marion Crawford (1854–1909) Italian-born American Novelist, Writer
The clew of our destiny, wander where we will, lies at the foot of the cradle.
—Jean Paul (1763–1825) German Novelist, Humorist
Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads onto actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny.
—Tryon Edwards American Theologian
It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author