“Of all that is wonderful in the human being, our most glorious asset is the capacity
to change ourselves.” – Eknath Easwaran
Philosophers argue about whether we have free will. The thought that we might not is understandable because people often behave compulsively rather than rationally, and then “rationalize” poor decisions afterward. For me this has obviously been the case many times, for example when making poor food choices (which are not really “choices” at all but giving into compulsion).
But I believe that when we really concentrate and buckle down we can make change, such as breaking bad old habits and forging new ones. Sometimes we can’t just “white-knuckle” change but may need support groups, or techniques like therapy, mindfulness or meditation. But even in severe cases like addiction, people can change.