Timing + Choices = Life
I think this statement is false. You can only do what you can with the opportunities that present themselves to you. Those opportunities depend on what other people do in their lives. These people don’t even have to be people you know.
An example, say you want to finally talk to James. You practice what to say to him, you get yourself all pretty, you station yourself somewhere you know he frequents… And then you see him. You are ready to say what you rehearsed, but he is talking to someone on the phone. That someone is his brother who just got a new dog because his landlord found a stray in the yard and no one claimed it. And that dog belonged to an elderly lady whose husband passed away. When she let the dog out, it ran away and she couldn’t chase it, but at the end of the day she hoped that it ran somewhere where it could be taken care of because she knew she wasn’t going to be able to care for it much longer. So there is no way in which you could have spoken to James that day. There were too many other events that were dictating where his life would go.
Or, example 2, on your way to situate yourself at James’ favourite coffee shop, there is a kid who falls off his bike right near you. So, of course, you stop to help him out. Turns out he was riding his bike to his friends house to have a sleepover, which apparently never happens; usually everyone stays over at his house because they have more room. In helping this kid, you miss seeing James. You cannot follow the path you set because there are other factors that influence the direction of your path.
So I guess what I am saying is that there is no way to be the only person in control of what you do. Your actions influence other people just as their actions influence you. Life is about timing and making your own decision based on what is presented to you.
That being said, I don’t think that people should stop trying to do whatever they want. It is in trying to achieve what we want that other opportunities present themselves. Sometimes these opportunities may never have crossed your path otherwise.