Friday, April 18

No. 7 eau de toilette: success in a bottle

A page from a book about Wayne Gretzky reads, "For those blessed with the talent to make it and the luck to get the chance, the road from minor hockey to the National Hockey League is reasonably straightforward."

When I think of luck, I usually think of a quote that my mother once said to me:


is when preparation
meets opportunity

I'm not sure why some people actually believe in luck and others vehemently deny its existence, or what their views reveal about their faith in God and their own power to make things happen. I suppose it's just like any other personal belief, a subjective measurement of life's events and what caused them.

Personally, I think that anyone who leaves something ertirely up to luck is a fool. Luck does not pull third-remortgagers out of debt, nor does it make the stay-at-home blob become a millionaire in world market. 'Luck' is when someone who is an avid reader of a certain magazine and the people who run it meets one of its employees and subsequently gets a job there. If someone who didn't read the magazines carefully and know a lot about the history and the company met the same employee, it would be a much harder feat to accomplish.

The picture above (clouds), some would say, is a moment of luck, that I just happened to press the shutter at the right time. But that's not how it happened. I saw the cloud, took a few photos of it as it moved towards the sun, and eventually, shot this one.
In photography 'opportunity meets preparation' is the mantra: waiting in soggy fields for the target to come in view, holding an aching crouching position for the moment of perfect light.

In other areas of life, however, this is much less obvious... how do you prepare for what you don't even know is coming? Well a job in neural science with the most prestigious hospital or research group will come up eventually. To prepare for that is to get the education so you actually know what you're doing, be ready to act and have a plan the moment there is a lead to persue in your dream job. If you fail to prepare, the chances are quite slim you will be successful. Would you be in the right-most lane in 4-lane traffic if you knew, eventually, that you wanted to turn left? It's basically lining yourself up for the eventuality you want.

Oh... now I feel as though I've just taken the magic out of it.... But the point remains: opposite to what the title of this post suggests, you have to do a bit of work and waiting to achieve your dreams. But isn't it more worthwile?

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