I’m generally in agreement with Arthur Schopenhauer’s concept of the Freedom of the Will:
- We can do as we will, but we cannot will as we will
- Character is determined by nature, not by the environment
- Humans can respond to abstract concepts, therefore human action is not merely determined by objects that are immediately present. But a man [can’t] get up from his chair before being driven by a motive
However, I believe human motivations (while generally consistent through our lives) are more probabilistic on a daily basis. If you’re a jealous person, but you happen to look the wrong way at the wrong time, you may miss becoming inflamed by a situation that would stoke your jealousy. Similarly, if you have a low threshold to anger, but live in a peaceful neighborhood, your anger will not flare as often.
Still, all it takes is a single incident – if you’ve got a low threshold to anger – to change your life forever (i.e. getting so angry that you kill someone, and go to jail for the rest of your life). So in that sense, probabilistic daily motivations may lead to similar outcomes over time. Often, the interaction between our nature and nurture is one-directional, and the outcomes can't be undone, due to latching effects.