Life of each life form is like complex string puppetry with numerous strings. While control through some strings seems to be apparent, there are other strings of which it is not clear who controls them, when, why or how.
The miracle of the divine is such that it would be perfectly valid to state that life of each life form is controlled by its own efforts but yet it would also be perfectly valid to state that life of each life form is controlled by circumstances beyond its control.
Life, as we experience it, seems to be a synergy of divine grace and the efforts of the life form. It is entirely possible that the lifeform stops its own efforts and lets the divine guiding force run its life. But it is impossible for a life form to sustain itself by its own efforts alone, given all the wonderous things needed to sustain life.
The divine plays a larger role in the experience each life form has of its own life. With the surrender of the life form to the divine, the need to have a life experience can cease. Without the individual ego and the need to experience life, there would be no need for life to manifest around the individual life form.
Life, then, is an illusory opportunity created by the divine to provide experiences to the individual life forms based on their own ego and desires.Krishnan