Monday, November 16, 2009

Can you create your own luck?

Can you create your own luck?

An older essay – from 2003 –from Richard Wiseman, at the UK Telegraph, explores the question: “Be lucky - it's an easy skill to learn.”

After highlighting some interesting research and studies, Wiseman concludes with some ways you can change your luck.

Along similar lines, this reminds us of an old book by Max Gunther called The Luck Factor. Gunther, summarizing his own thesis:

“Is is possible to change one’s luck by making practical changes within or around oneself?

Yes, it is possible, and that is what this book is about… For it turns out that there are perceptible difference between the consistently lucky and the unlucky. In general, and with exceptions, the luckiest men and women are those who have adopted certain approaches to life and have mastered certain kinds of internal psychological manipulation. I call this array of traits and attitudes the Luck Adjustment.”

So what do we make of all this from the absurd perspective?

From an absurd perspective, the seeming randomness of the universe bolsters the idea of the world’s inherent absurdity – its essential meaninglessness and indifference to the plight of humanity.

Also, what we call “good luck” and “bad luck” are really rather hollow concepts in the context of the absurd. An absurd man views such vicissitudes of fortune with great equanimity and less judgment about whether his circumstance is “good” or “bad.” Of course, this is not easy to do. And it doesn’t mean the absurd man can’t have preferences or opinions. It simply means that he appreciates with some detachment his place in the world.

The wiki definition for equanimity is worth reproducing here:

“Equanimity describes the unattached awareness of one's experience as a result of perceiving the impermanence of momentary reality. It is a peace of mind and abiding calmness that cannot be shaken by any grade of both fortunate circumstance and unfortunate one.”

That’s pretty good… and sums up how the absurd man views luck, with equanimity. This is not unique to absurdity, by the way, and this view is shared by other religions and philosophies.

Absurdity, then – recognizing that liberating insight that nothing really matters – is a kind of “luck adjustment.” An absurd man recognizes the greatest stroke of luck is that he exists at all!

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