Friday, February 01, 2008

The Skill of Good Luck

I will admit that I am superstitious.

I am a firm believer in luck.

I know for a fact that if luck and skill are competing against each other, luck will win every time.

The best quarterback could be having just the best game of his career and still lose. He could throw the most perfect pass in the world, only to have the wind catch it and send it slightly awry, into the arms of a waiting defensive player.

Bad luck, Tom” his team mates would say.

Skill, beaten by luck.

So it definitely pays to be lucky. Ask any lottery winner. It was not the skill of picking the right six numbers. It was the luck of picking those numbers.

One could spend a lifetime working hard to be successful, live a good clean life, and buy an estate to retire to; only to find out the new drunken slobs who bought the mansion next door did so by winning the lottery.

So where do you get luck from?

I truly believe that we find our luck in our own brains. I think that luck is actually the result of positive thinking. You will yourself to be lucky.

But positive thinking is not easy. It requires skill and discipline.

But wait, you just said that luck beats skill?

Yes, yes I did.

It takes skill to be lucky. It did not require skill to pick the six numbers. It does require skill to believe that it is possible that your six numbers will be the ones picked to win the lottery. The skill of the discipline of positive thinking.

Luck is confusing too. Have you noticed?

Every time that we change months, I like to make sure that my calendars reflect the new month as quickly as possible – but never before the old month has expired.

I want to know that it’s possible for the next month to be lucky. So I take what I consider to be appropriate action. I manipulate the calendar.

This may mean that I take a calendar down from the wall, and close it so no month is shown – should I not be there to change it on the first day of the new month.

Flaky? I can’t argue that.

But what I have done is prepare my brain to say “Okay, I have set up all the conditions I know of to make good luck.” And then I try to create opportunities for good luck to come my way. I believe it can happen. So it might. Or it might not.

But I always truly believe my chances are pretty good.

You see, I am an optimist – to a skeptical degree.

I am hopeful that next month will be a good one. But I believe that I have to earn it.

I have a closet full of clothes. If I have a bad day, most likely it’s the shirt’s fault. It gets designated a hanger in the bad luck shirt section. And it will reside there until Darlene asks if I have anything for the Good Will basket.

I don’t wear that shirt again. And I try to find my lucky boxers.

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