Jerry Seinfeld has a bit about how winning a bronze medal in the Olympics is better that winning a silver medal in the same event. Everyone knows that gold is the best. It means that you are the winner and you beat everybody. The bronze medalist is happy because he at least won something. The silver medalist gets depressed because what he really is, is the first loser. Of all the losers in the event, he was the first. He is the head of the losers.
There is a lot of truth to Seinfeld’s bit. When winning the silver medal, the person always thinks to themselves, “If I was only a little faster”. “If I worked a little harder and shaved that .2 seconds off my time, I’d have the gold medal”. The bronze medal winner is happy because they think to themselves “wow, if I was just .2 slower, I wouldn’t have won. Look how many people I beat.
Without consciously knowing it, people think about what could have been. In the case of the Olympic medalists, each one thinks about the “what if” scenario closest to their situation. Lucky and unlucky people alike use this same “what if” thinking in every aspect of their life. Most cases are not like the top winners in the Olympics, there are so many possibilities that could have happened and they are right in the middle. Lucky people think that things could be worse and unlucky people think that things could be better.
Image a person getting into a car accident and coming away with whiplash. The unlucky person would think that their whole life is ruined while the lucky person would be thankful that they are still alive. The lucky person will celebrate and the unlucky person will sulk.
Now which of these people will find more luckortunity? The person sulking in his misery or the one telling everyone the story of how happy he is to still be alive?
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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