On Free Will

You are at a restaurant holding the menu, thinking what to eat tonight? Probably some salad because there’s a bit much around the waistline and you would like that away, but you crave that burger even though gluten is causing you trouble lately.

You manage to get the discipline to stick to the diet and order that salad.

But then again, why were you at the restaurant and not eating at home?

Maybe you just needed a change in scenery. Maybe you were tired of work and those overtimes, you did not want to eat alone. Work has been stressful and you need a break, it has left with little social life and you are currently single as you have no time to mingle.

Come to think of it; you wonder why you chose that career path?

Then you remember, IT was blooming and there were lots of employment opportunities promised at that seminar you attended a few years ago.

That was right before the time you started evaluating Universities that fulfill your expectations: money, location and reputation.

But then again, you did not have the grades to be accepted at that great university and you wonder why you did not perform at school?

Is it your teachers? did they not trigger the interest, is it that crush you had that put you in zombie mode or is it that talk you accidentally heard between your parents while you were a child.

Maybe its the sum of them and more, maybe you were not really smart or intellectual.

You remember now you have to call your parents, it has been long since you talked to them. Your dad taught you toughness, he was always cheering you in your sport activities, he is tough too, he had a rough childhood, it was hard times.

Your mother continuously checked in on your manners. Do this; don’t do that! You were taught to respect others, to be a “good” person in society. Too bad they did not have some connections, maybe it would have given you a chance to work at that big company that your friend works at.

He is a smart, hard working person. He graduated from that top university you were dreaming of, his parents are rich and they helped him get that job. They even got him some teachers at home when he was having some bad grades, they could afford that. He is married now and has two kids. That move to the big company helped him, a managerial position with little overtime and a huge pay.

Suddenly, a waiter trips and there’s that noise of shattered glass. People are attentive, you look at the other side of the restaurant and there is a young man about your age, he ordered the same salad. Well maybe he is also on a diet.

You wonder along, if he lived my life with all of its experiences, all of its triggers, the same as I did, will he had made different choices than I did? Will he be here, now, eating what I am eating? thinking what I am thinking?

You believe that everything happens for a reason, you chose that salad because you wanted to stick on a diet to lose that extra weight, because your work has been overwhelming and you did not have time to work out or cook at home. You are at this restaurant because you could not afford a better one, your job does not pay that much and that’s because you graduated from that university and that dream company of yours had different graduates expectations. But you had to go to that university, it was the only one from the ones that accepted you fulfilling your tuition abilities. etc…

Let me share with you what I think of Free Will.

Every choice we make in life is the output of the billions of experiences we had, that perspective we build in every second. At every crossroad in life, we need to make a choice, we consult our inner computer, it has the data and the processing and it manages to do the math; to run that function and tell us which way to go.

But here’s the thing, there is no other answer, that mathematical function faced with the same input and the same environment will ALWAYS return the same result — unless there is a bug in your system.

We are programmed from our upbringing, molded in each and every moment and we react to inputs and triggers.

We are all “Outliers” in our very own way, there can be no other person in this world living your life with all it’s tiny details

— well except in a parallel universe.

This model is not hard to understand but it is hard to accept.

The easiest way to think of it is ask the question “Why?” at each and every step.

The biggest mistake to make is to stop at a certain level, the “Why?” goes on in a top-down approach until your birth, till all answers have been given.

To end this subject, I’ll leave you with this:

“There is nothing right or wrong, there just is”