There is a fascinating 'shér' (couplet) by Allama Iqbal that goes:
Khud ko kar bulland itna ké har taqder sé pehlé
Khuda bandé sé yé poochhé, "Bataa, téri raza kya hai?"
खुद को कर बुल्लंद इत्ना के हर तक़दीर से पहले
खुदा बन्दे से यह पूछे, "बता, तेरी रज़ा क्या है?
Translated, it means:
Raise thyself to such heights, that before writing your fate,
God asks, "Tell me, what would you have me write in yours?
The small-minded assume it means the acquisition of wealth, of 'things' and of status.
The average minds assume it means position within the hierarchy of human society - a job title or anointment as a leader, both of which are transient and often temporary.
The ones who get it right are the ones who enrich themselves with the pursuit of higher knowledge - culture, art, music, debate and discourse.
Most that know me, will know I am firmly of the 'No-Fate-But-What-We-Make' camp and they're right, I do feel strongly about Iqbal's couplet. My motto in life is this poem by William Ernest Henley. Facing the fears of your perceived deficiencies in your financial or social status is not scary at all. True terror is in realising that you have no lessons to give, no wisdom to impart, no-one looking up to all that you stand for or believe in or that you are an inconsequential fool.
If you've got nothing to say, or you consider your opinion or your beliefs to be worthless, you're dying a slow death inside. If you're blindly following popular opinion just so you fit in, you're nothing but a statistic, one of the sheep. As Eleanor Roosevelt is credited to have said "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people."
I'm aware of my inadequacies and that's why I put myself out there - to be challenged, to be pushed and to be contradicted - or validated.
I hate my comfort zone.