“The Granite Peaks of the Inevitable…Rubble from the Landslips of Chance.”

“The Granite Peaks of the Inevitable…Rubble from the Landslips of Chance.”

"The landscape of my days appears to be composed, like mountainous regions, of varied materials heaped up pell-mell. There I see my nature, itself composite, made up of equal parts of instinct and training. Here and there protrude the granite peaks of the inevitable, but all about is rubble from the landslips of chance."

-- Marguerite Yourcenar, Memoirs of Hadrian

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotations, from Sigmund Freud's “The Theme of the Three Caskets” in The Freud Reader. I managed to work this quotation into my new book about habits -- enormously satisfying:

“The names of the three spinners have been interpreted significantly…Lachesis, the name of the second, seems to mean ‘the accidental within the decrees of destiny’ while Atopos means ‘the inevitable’ and for Clotho ‘the fateful tendencies each one of us brings into the world.’"

I often think:  What are my fateful tendencies? What is the role of instinct and training? How does chance play a role? Etc., etc.

What do you think?

If you’re reading this post through the daily email, click here to join the conversation. And if you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up here. You can ignore that RSS business.

icon schooled

Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.

The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t actOur Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

Take the quiz

Get My Weekly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.