Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Luck, Chance or Happenstance

As luck would have it...I'm back.

Things have quieted down a bit since I last posted.  The remodel (as previously discussed in Closed for Renovation)  is now completed and allowing a much quieter atmosphere in which I can think....for now. As is always the case, one improvement has led to us thinking another few remodeling "tweaks" need to happen.  There is no end to the  madness.

ALSO, since you and I last spoke...hubby and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary.  Yeah!!! Crazy!!  Who says that teenage marriages are a bad idea?  OK...possibly everyone.  I see that.

Which brings me to the subject for the day. it real?  Given my past post,  If You Knew My Story,  you wouldn't probably think of me as a lucky person. I, however, do feel extremely lucky and I am not alone in this.  According to a recent poll done by CBS News, 71% of people polled consider themselves lucky as well. with pretty much EVERYTHING...I am conflicted about what parts of my (or your) life are a result of luck as opposed to fate, or destiny or the result of our actions and efforts.  How much of our life's  outcome is just a result of  being in a particular place at a particular time?  Even then you would have to question, how did you come to be in that place at that time?  Was it chance, or luck or destiny?

I was recently watching a segment of CBS Sunday morning that was about the "science" of luck.  Susan Spencer interviewed 4 people that have various takes on "random luck" versus "taking control of one's life".  Three of the four interviewed guests talked about "controlling" your luck in various forms.  One alluded to the use of "lucky charms" or superstitions such as "See a penny, pick it up, all the day, you'll have good luck.".   Another discussed how he creates algorithms to insure positive outcomes and yet another talked about having a optimistic attitude" as a sure-fire way to bring about good luck.  The 4th person interviewed, however, said life is all intrinsically arbitrary.

On the CBS program Dr. Mazur pointed out that the  sometimes  a random act by one person defines the luck of another. He gave an example of a book, Fieldwork, that was written by Mischa Berlinski that was doing OK (not great) when Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King!) picked it up in a Barnes and Noble and was quoted in Entertainment Weekly  saying "This is the great American novel."  The book ended up being a finalist in the National Book Award.  This same set of circumstances could be attributed to every author the Oprah touted as being the "must read".  How lucky for them for her to touch them with her magic success wand.  Well...Maybe not so much James Frey.  She did, in fact, touch his "A Million Little Pieces" book with her success wand but then beat him over the head with it on national TV for taking creative liberties with his memoir.  I guess that is "good" luck that goes "bad". 

Of course, there are theories that nothing is "luck".  It's more about each of us sending out positive energy into the universe with our optimism.  According to Rhonda Byrnes, the author of The Secret,
our luck..good or on us.  According to her, we just have to concentrate, visualize and remain positive in our goals and they will come.

I have to tell you that when I was forced to watch the movie along with nearly every other corporate worker whose employer felt the need to shovel positivity down our throats,  I thought I potentially would be fired due to my involuntary gasps of  "are you shi**** me?" during it's run.  I seriously considered asking for workman's compensation for the eye strain resulting from  the excessive need to roll my eyes when the part  of the movie showing  a  guy sitting in the Bark-o-lounger who was conjuring up his  expensive new sports car.  

I realize I am not the most "positive" minded person in the world but perhaps my pragmatism counters that a bit.

Clearly, I don't believe my good fortune is product of my sending positive thoughts out into the universe but I appreciate all those that look at life as one big hugfest singing Kumbaya  around their metaphorical campfire.  Probably can't hurt, right?

Still...there is no way to know why things happen as they do. What's your thoughts?  Do you consider yourself lucky?  Or is your good fortune due to your good choices or hard work?  Is fate predetermined and out of our control?  Does your free-will alter the outcome?

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