Fate, does it exist and can you change it? In 1846, five different families, led by James Reed and George Donner, set out from Springfield, IL, on a 2500 mile trip to California with 9 covered wagons, looking for a new life. They relied on their leader who was enticed by a report of a new shorter route through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but unbeknownst to them, this shorter passage was untested. If you have read about this compelling tragedy, you know that there were numerous opportunities for the party to change their course, even being warned by the one who wrote about the new passage that it was impassible. Even when two others tried the passage and came back with news, again, that it was almost impossible to cover that route on foot, let alone by wagon, they still would not be deterred. Then they split off and some elected to stay behind for a few days, which was equally deadly because the weather turned cold and snow set in. It was basically one disaster after another, compounded by more bad decisions. In the end, over half of the 87 perished, and those who did survive, resorted to cannabilism of the corpses. I have been reading a book called The Slight Edge which explains that decisions you make in your life can affect you either positively or negatively, and can put you on a success or a failure curve. Ok, one bad decision made on one day, may seem innocuous, but if that decision is repeated over and over, day in and day out, it can change the course of your life. The trick is, recognizing this pattern and it is not easy. If I look back at my life, I can see so many opportunities I chose not to take; from not taking a scholarship to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology – an acclaimed art school in Manhattan) offered by my uncle, to not electing to go cross country with a drug buddy I knew from work, instead getting married and having children. Who knows how my life would have been altered, but those decisions make you the person you are. Is it fate, kind of like the movie The Final Destination, where your future is set in stone, or are we able to change the course of our life by our choices? I’ve heard that we always have free will, but regardless, the trick is not to look back at your so-called bad decisions with regret, but learn from them, move forward and try to live your life as best as you can today.