Most people I have met in the USA are quite gregarious and enthused with a purpose to their lives. Their permanent state of cheerfulness is a boost to sagging confidence sometimes while it does across as a nauseating ploy to avoid facing the realities of life at other times. Here in the heartland of capitalism, they've got one thing totally wrong.
The folks sincerely believe that planning and hard work are more than enough to get you where you want to be and that there are no other factors in play. No wonder then that the people who do not end up where they had aimed for are the most frustated and depressed people on earth. Coming from a country which is the seat of Eastern philosophy, I find it incomprehensible why these people refuse to believe in fate. Belief in fate is such an important part of our way of thinking and I think it helps us a great deal in coping with the misfortunes doled out to us (and there are many). I am not advocating that one should junk the hard work, flush the planning and flow with the tides of fortune but to deny the existence of such a tide is such an immature way of thinking. "Fortune favours the brave" all right but then the aphorism itself acknowledges the existence of something called fortune, and that it "favours" the brave, not is "ALWAYS" on the side of the brave.
Work your heart out and dream till your eyes hurt, but to say that everything fell into place because you had planned it that way makes such a drag out of what otherwise would be such an exciting life. If your entire life is planned to perfection and the only adjustments you make is to bring your life back on track with this grand plan of yours whenever it deviates from the same makes for a horribly robotic existence. The elements of unpredictability on a normal day are the real high points. How those events either pep you up or punch you in the face is the whole fun behind treating your own life like an unread novel. Who'd want to read a story whose entire content you already know?
Not me. Getting off the beach and running into the waves is more my idea of existence. The waves may splash your back with their refreshing coolness or throw you down on the beach with salt in your mouth. And that's why you run back to catch the next big one that you see forming at the edges of the sea. What in the world in going to happen to you when you challenge the next wave, you never know!