Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm so Lucky!!

That's what I have been hearing ever since the SSC results have been announced. All my classmates and the shark-toothed Marathi teacher let me know that I was "lucky" to have scored a 90.15. And after a month of getting offended and fuming and complaining about it and fighting with K darling (it's so convenient to fight with her when you feel like beating up someone), I realised that I am indeed lucky thanks to K.

I was upset by the fact that everybody called me "lucky" for having a good result (and not achieving it), and so, the “Spiritual” K turned to her “Spiritual Guru”, Google Baba for help. The following is some of Google Baba's priceless and eye-opening advice:

“Luck is an event where opportunity meets preparation”. – Anthony Robbins.

Here is another one from
We consider people lucky when, using no apparent effort, they just automatically run into favorable situations that we call luck. Luck isn't necessarily a result of karma or coincidence. I believe that these lucky people actually "unconsciously generate" their so-called luck. They think and behave in ways that create good fortune in their lives. A large part of this is through a positive attitude or mindset…

And this is another nice one. Some (really really long) excerpts from it :

Isn't there a distinction between chance and luck?
There's a big distinction. Chance events are like winning the lottery. They're events over which we have no control, other than buying a ticket. They don't consistently happen to the same person. They may be formative events in people's lives, but they're not frequent. When people say that they consistently experience good fortune, I think that, by definition, it has to be because of something they are doing.

In other words, they make their own luck.
That's right. What I'm arguing is that we have far more control over events than we thought previously. You might say, "Fifty percent of my life is due to chance events." No, it's not. Maybe 10% is. That other 40% that you think you're having no influence over at all is actually defined by the way you think.

What are some of the ways that lucky people think differently from unlucky people?
One way is to be open to new experiences. Unlucky people are stuck in routines. When they see something new, they want no part of it. Lucky people always want something new. They're prepared to take risks and relaxed enough to see the opportunities in the first place.

How did you uncover that in your lab?
We did an experiment. We asked subjects to flip through a news-paper that had photographs in it. All they had to do was count the number of photographs. That's it. Luck wasn't on their minds, just some silly task. They'd go through, and after about three pages, there'd be a massive half-page advert saying, STOP COUNTING. THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER. It was next to a photo, so we knew they were looking at that area. A few pages later, there was another massive advert -- I mean, we're talking big -- that said, STOP COUNTING. TELL THE EXPERIMENTER YOU'VE SEEN THIS AND WIN 150 POUNDS [about $235].

For the most part, the unlucky would just flip past these things. Lucky people would flip through and laugh and say, "There are 43 photos. That's what it says. Do you want me to bother counting?" We'd say, "Yeah, carry on." They'd flip some more and say, "Do I get my 150 pounds?" Most of the unlucky people didn't notice.

But the business culture typically worships drive -- setting a goal, single-mindedly pursuing it, and plowing past obstacles. Are you arguing that, to be more lucky, we need to be less focused?
This is one of the most counterintuitive ideas. We are traditionally taught to be really focused, to be really driven, to try really hard at tasks. But in the real world, you've got opportunities all around you. And if you're driven in one direction, you're not going to spot the others. It's about getting people to have various game plans running in their heads. Unlucky people, if they go to a party wanting to meet the love of their life, end up not meeting people who might become close friends or people who might help them in their careers. Being relaxed and open allows lucky people to see what's around them and to maximize what's around them.

Much of business is also about rational analysis: pulling up the spreadsheet, running the numbers, looking at the serious facts. Yet you found that lucky people rely heavily on their gut instincts.
Yes. You don't want to broadly say that whenever you get an intuitive feeling, it's right and you should go with it. But you could be missing out on a massive font of knowledge that you've built up over the years. We are amazingly good at detecting patterns. That's what our brains are set up to do.
(This is something I watched in a documentary titled "Human Instinct". It said that a part of our brain, immediately starts to compare the current situation with past ones and what you think is gut feeling, is actually a result of analyzing your experiences and realizing the differences between the current situation and the past situation.)

What are some other ways you found that lucky people's minds operate differently?
They practice "counterfactual thinking." The degree to which you think that something is fortunate or not is the degree to which you generate alternatives that are better or worse.

Unlucky people say, "I can't believe I've been in another car accident." Lucky people go, "Wonderful. Yes, I had a car accident, but I wasn't killed. And I met the guy in the other car, and we got on really well, and there might be a relationship there." What's interesting is that both ways of thinking are unconscious and automatic. It would never occur to the unlucky people to see it a different way.

But can we acknowledge that sometimes bad stuff -- car accidents, natural disasters -- just happens? Sometimes it's purely bad, and there's nothing good about it.
I've never heard that from a lucky person.

So if you buy that way of thinking, then there is no bad luck.
That's right. That's what was weird about conducting some of the interviews. Subjects would say, "I'm the luckiest person alive" -- and they'd come up with dreadful stories. They'd have the same life events as the unlucky person, but they'd look at them entirely differently.

Isn't that just a fancy version of the power of positive thinking?
There's more science to it -- as opposed to the classic "Just think positive, and you'll be successful." I think if you understand a little about where it's coming from, it's a bit easier to adapt into your life.

We had a subject named Carolyn. When she would come to the unit to be interviewed, it would be just this whole string of bad-luck stories: "I can't find anyone. I'm unlucky in love. When I did find someone, the guy fell off his motorbike. The next blind date broke his nose. We were supposed to get married, and the church burned down." But to every single interview, she'd bring along her two kids. They were 6 and 7 years old -- very healthy, very happy kids who'd sit there and play. And it was interesting, because most people would love to have two kids like that, but that wasn't part of her world, because she was unlucky in her mind.

K also quoted Robert Frost:
"Education is the ability to listen to anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."

(Do not think that Google Baba is not wise because he never said any of those things. He's not a plagiarist. Because, though Google Baba may not have said those things, it was he who brought them to our notice. That's why he's still “The Baba” and the coolest dude of Baba-land)

K also generated her own wisdom, (which she claims she did before turning to the great “Google Baba”)

Why do you *need* Bond to buy you your seat Pearl? I can't understand you?
What are you worried about??
And what are you irritated about??
People saying you're "LUCKY"??????

Of course you're a lucky (swear word I removed to avoid obscenity on my blog)... because you've *created* your luck. Lady luck is not some mythological character.

Dude, you are lucky, and your luck will stay with you for ever, because you create it. You'll just have to get used to being lucky.

(She said all this because I for one moment wanted to "buy" a seat, because for that one silly moment I thought that Merit was just a fancy term, that would become part of the old English after a couple of years.)

Unlike K, I won't generate my own wisdom. But I do acknowledge the fact that I am lucky and I love it that way :)

P.S. K has also brought to my kind attention the fact that she learnt a new word, which is "shadefreude".


At 8:16 PM, August 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! That s some post now. N I'm glad you are lucky baby. I hope you get lucky everytime.. :)

Muaah! Visitin ur blog after a loooooooooong time. Keep in touch sweetheart.

Guess me?
"The Other K"

At 5:10 PM, November 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey dear, me the above one! :)
have tagged you, checkout my blog!


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