Here is how I see it:
We are all expressions of source, and when we incarnate we leave a piece of ourselves behind, that is our connection to all that is. That is the piece that has all of the knowledge and understanding, the higher self. While your higher self has a plan in mind, you, as in the little you, still have freewill to choose. Your higher self nudges you on that path by way of intution, ‘gut feeling’, messages …
The more connected you are to your higher self and the plan you have set out, the easier your path will be.