“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. ” (Friedrich Nietzsche, quoted in Frankl, 1963, p. 121)
I once told someone glibly that I didn’t believe in luck. That triggered a lengthy discussion about being hit by lightning and other instances of unpredictable mishap or serendipity – aren’t all of these luck?
I’m closer now to articulating what I meant. I don’t believe in systematic chance. Or to put it another way, some people are luckier than others, but this is a function of attitude rather than fortuity.
Richard Wiseman is the standard-bearer of the scientific study of luck, and he writes beautifully on the four characteristics he has identified in lucky people - they:
- are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities
- make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition
- create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations
- adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good
For fun, substitute ‘lucky’ for ‘entrepreneur’ when reading the above 4 points.
Dennett: “Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it”
Kennedy: “The full use of your powers along lines of excellence”
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”