Fatalism- a failed philosophy

Avoiding fatalism

Fatalism is tricky. One for its meaning being widely misunderstood and two for how pernicious it is to those who have unwittingly embraced it.

While its name may engender some confusion, fatalism does not mean one eagerly awaits death- however it may be the death of hope, achievement, and satisfaction. Fatalism derives its name from the fabled fates who spun the future of mere humans who were powerless to change the outcome.


Fatalism typically manifests itself in the belief that no matter what one does the die has been cast leaving us powerless to change the outcome. It hinges largely in the belief of Predeterminism- that all events have been established in advance.

Such ideologies may sound absurd in today’s society that exalts technology, science, and rational thought. However, regardless of our educational pedigree, intellect, or even good intentions we can find ourselves embracing this dark philosophy. Fatalism triumphs over those who believe in it.

Here are just a few examples of fatalistic thinking.

The Three Fates (Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos) by the Italian artist Giorgio Ghisi (1520-82). In Greek mythology, the Fates (called the Moirae) were the incarnations of destiny. They spent their time spinning, measuring and cutting the thread of life
  • “It would have turned out this way regardless”.
  • “Nothing can be done, so why try?”
  • “HECM endorsements will never improve.”
  • “There’s no way I could do that. It just wouldn’t work.”
  • “Why bother making the call? They’re just going to say no anyway.”

Negativity and fatalism are close cousins and sap our faith, hope, and perseverance which begs the question- how does one steer clear of fatalistic thinking?

Here are a few ways to avoid fatalism

  1. Find positive friends who inspire and uplift you. This is the crowd you want to spend time with, share your ideas and plans with, and ask feedback from.
  2. Change your diet. Not food- but what you watch on television, read online, and listen to. Write down what your typical routine is and look back to see if any reinforce a negative perception.
  3. Exercise. Moving and getting your heart rate up is the easiest and cheapest antidepressant available. Whether you walk, run, or use a treadmill to get active.
  4. Drop off Facebook and Twitter for a week or longer. Much of what you see in your timeline is either (1) negative, or (2) fake.
  5. Read inspirational books or quotes to feed the soul.

In conclusion, it can be said that fatalism can be fatal to your hopes, dreams, and achievements. The trick is to identify it and steer clear.


Freddie the Rainmaker August 13, 2019 at 8:23 am

The only source of true power: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

The_Cynic August 14, 2019 at 2:23 am

To negativity, one must add pessimism.

To be a cynic in the classical manner is simply not to trust the claims of others.

In other words, one is more than skeptical about unverified anecdotes. For example, when someone states how great the last half of calendar year 2019 will be for HECM endorsements, to a true cynic such statements are like the false claims of conditions being right to see 300,000 endorsements in fiscal 2018 when such “ultra optimistic” claims were being made in fiscal 2015 or the nonsense of how the industry collaboration already seen during fiscal 2015 would bring about great things in the industry.

Most of the claims that have been made about the last half of 2019 are grounded in subjectivity with no idea that there is just one partial month for applications with case numbers assigned that will have the potential of turning things around for the HECM endorsements during the remainder of calendar 2019. Few of the applications with case numbers assigned after 8/31/2019 will turn into endorsed HECMs before 1/1/2020.

To a true cynic, most positive predictions made in the industry are founded in such unreliable ideals as good intentions, speaking positively, and trying to encourage others. Since the basis of these ideals are not grounded in fact, cynics generally mock the resulting positive predictions. These are not attacks on the individuals who promote them as much attacks on the flimsy foundation upon which such claims are made.

The foregoing applies to most positive claims circulating the industry about the unverified size of closed proprietary reverse mortgages since 9/30/2018. It would be very surprising to learn that proprietary reverse mortgages closed in fiscal 2019 were sufficient to make up the 16,000 plus HECM endorsements we will be down for fiscal 2019 when compared to fiscal 2018. If these claims had foundation in fact, Reverse Market Insight (RMI) would have the data it needed to report industry wide proprietary reverse mortgages but guess what RMI does not have.


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