If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that there is some truth to the concept of fate. We are prone to repeat the same decisions and methods of dealing with problems. There is a pattern to our life, particularly visible in our mistakes and failures. But there is a different way of looking at this concept: it is not spirits or gods that control us but rather our own character. The etymology of the word character, from the ancient Greek, refers to an engraving or stamping instrument. Character, then, is something that is so deeply ingrained or stamped within us that it compels us to act in certain ways, beyond our awareness and control.
-Robert Green, The Laws of Human Nature