Jack Nicklaus said, “yes, I admit I was lucky. But I saw it and I was ready for it, whereas many people wouldn’t know a stroke of luck if it bit them on the nose.”
This is my new motto, luck happens, it’s the direction in which I will train my thoughts, even when life takes unexpected detours (think pandemic), I’ll cling to the unimagined possibilities waiting in the wings. As Emma Donoghue says, trials are only temporary, we can sail towards happiness through the roughest weather.
I’ve done nothing to muscle my thoughts towards the good, it’s more about self preservation, something I’ve absently promoted, by ignoring to the point of neurosis, anything that disrupts my peace. I’m what you call a conflict avoider, I use my imagination to swarth the opposition, and in doing so secure my tranquility.
It might be more of a burden than a gift?
For example, if I hear a phone ring anywhere in the house, for a split second I find myself centering my ear on the receiver, tittering on the edge of my seat, knowing instinctually the caller is the bearer of good news, and something extraordinary is about to happen. Isn’t that the strangest thing?
As William Shakespeare says, “I am fortune’s fool.”
More often than not it’s a tenant with a leaky facet or the dentist confirming a torturous appointment, but that does not deter me in the least. I still think Larry will drive over to fix that leaky pipe, he’ll discover a ten dollar bill wedged under the tire of his car, he’ll think to slip into the Speedy Mart on the way home to buy a Lottery ticket, and we’ll win enough money to pay off my car! Bahaha.
Luck is not as random as you think, before that lottery ticket won the jackpot, someone had to buy it, says Vera Nazarian
It’s never happened, okay not yet, but here I am holding the ticket, hoping for the best, that underground stream of expectation silently flowing.
Optimism means hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something. A doctrine set forth by Leibniz that says this world is the best of all possible worlds, that good must prevail over evil, it’s Latin originally meaning “best thing.” Bill Maher says, “if you’re born at this time in history, you’re lucky. We all are. We won the world history Powerball lottery.”
The thing I’m noticing is preparation and luck are intrinsically intertwined, neither can be thoroughly mapped out ahead of time, or forced into being. “You have to allow for the suddenly altered landscape, the change in plan, the accidental spark – and you have to see it as a stroke of luck rather than a disturbance of your perfect scheme,” says Twyla Tharp.
As E.B. White claims creative people and creative lives are prepared to be lucky.
I think that’s the appeal of sporting events like the Super Bowl. It starts with the drafting process, then you scrutinize the practices, and games. The losers and winners, whose in and whose out, by the day of the big game your spinning with possibility, you might even have money down on your favorite team. It’s captivating, the unexpected turn of events, the adrenaline surges that keep you leaping off the sofa, the explosive reaction to the referees, not to mention the guacamole and chips.
What do you think Tom Brady thinks about preparation and luck? “The only thing I really like doing during the week is getting ready to play the game,” says Brady. You don’t get lucky without preparation, and there’s no sense in being prepared if you’re not open to the possibility of a glorious outcome says Twyla Tharp.
I have never assumed anything good in my life is of my own doing, but I will concur the bad is mostly due to my poor choices, but this is how it works, you have to prepare for opportunity, you don’t know when or where it will happen, it’s like the anticipated Second Coming of Christ, don’t let it catch you unprepared.
Now my Dad was in the retread business, he dealt with rubber compounds, molds, heating elements, and such, but he had this same approach to life. I think it’s interesting that the discovery of vulcanized rubber was just a lucky coincidence. Charles Goodyear (what a great name), after years of experimentation, walks into a general store in 1839, accidentally spills his concoction of gum and sulphur onto a sizzling potbelly stove, and discovers that instead of melting like molasses the compound chars like leather, leaving a dry, springy material that keeps it flexibility at almost any temperature. Goodyear called the process “vulcanization” and almost every use of rubber depends on it, including retread tires, which my Dad spent the better part of his life creating and selling. See that is the definition of a good attitude. Right? This guy had been messing around with formulas for years and was able to recognize the importance of what took place on that stove, and then he was able to repeat the process. That’s what I’m talking about preparing to be lucky.
Is that just so amazing?
I say luck happens all the time but we’re not prepared for luck as luck would have it. If we adopt the example of Goodyear and Brady we can be assured if we’re experimenting, practicing, and preparing, in wholehearted pursuit of our passions, the more luck has a chance to land in our hands, get stuck under the tire, bite us on the nose.
I’m living in the Gap, feeling lucky, how about you?
- “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” Dalai Lama XIV
- “Luck is the residue of design.” John Milton
- “Learn to recognize good luck when it’s waving at you, hoping to get your attention.” Sally Koslow