Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Past and Future Luck

Interesting possibilities lie ahead. Some of them are pretty much there for me to take; others remain uncertain, dependent on factors somewhat or even largely outside my control.
To be sure, this is always the case, but it seems particularly true of late. Will the journal article I just revised be accepted? ...depends on whether the editors and anonymous reviewers think the changes were sufficient. Will I come up with a truly scintillating topic for the intriguing call-for-papers that arrived in today's email? ...we can only hope so since my research gives me several possible angles. Projects for next year? ...this area remains in the planning stages.
There was a time when I wanted particular things intensely. Now, we often hear that in order to get what you want, you have to really want it, and to some extent this is true. Many things in life require wanting something enough to put in the effort to get it.
But when I think of the things I've wanted the most desperately, and put a lot of effort into getting, on the whole these are not things I ever got. (Or at least not yet. I suppose some of them could still surprise me, and I hope one or two of them will.) I'm much better at getting things I want less intensely and that require either little effort or only reasonable diligence.
And at some point I found that I had moved away from wanting specific things intensely and on to wanting whatever would be the best outcome. This is especially true of situations involving other people, because what I want most might not be best for everyone involved, but it's an approach that also feels well suited to waiting for results of applications and such. Applying for funding, I might think I preferred a particular fellowship, but I'd figure that what I wanted most was whatever would really be best, and that the best outcome might not be obvious to me.
In general, I'd say my life has been full of very good luck, but it has felt particularly lucky since I took to hoping for whatever was truly best. There are things I once wanted and didn't get, and that I subsequently realized wouldn't have been all that great. One of those failures to get what I wanted brought me something much better.
It feels a little vague just to hope for whatever will truly be best in a given situation, but I've learned that it works pretty well for me. And so, looking into an only partly defined future, I feel confident that, with the right attitude and an openness to the possibilities, my luck will be pretty good.

Your Luck Quotient: 75%

You have a high luck quotient.
More often than not, you've felt very lucky in your life.
You may be randomly lucky, but it's probably more than that.
Optimistic and open minded, you take advantage of all the luck that comes your way.

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Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

I think that Peewee Herman said it best, "Am I lucky or whaaaat!?!"

April 09, 2008 3:51 AM  

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