I’m starting to like these little thought experiments.
The other day I talked about luck and acting as if it wasn’t there at all, behaving as if there was no such thing. Let’s see what happens when we do the opposite of this– in other words, if we considered ourselves lucky, how would we behave? (Like Hurley from Lost, maybe.)
Belief in luck (and having it) leads to what I like to call “checkout aisle syndrome.” This is what happens when we start to believe that incredible, out of the ordinary events will just happen to us as we go ahead and behave the way we always have. It’s named after the idea that people think they will be “discovered” by someone in power at the checkout aisle, usually accompanied by the phrase “ZOMG!!! You are the one I’ve been looking for!!!”
In other words, they believe in a prince charming that will sweep them off their feet (career-wise or personally) so that they don’t have to do anything. It’s a belief in destiny that isn’t accompanied by any need to change any of their behaviour.
Of course, people that believe that this will happen to them (they’re more common than you think) also believe that they are special– otherwise this unlikely event that will happen to them would also happen to any number of other people. Since it doesn’t, they must be different.
I loved Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s answer to this– place ourselves in as many “lucky” instances as possible by accepting any party invitation we could (instead of staying home, say) just because the likelihood of meeting a future business or romantic partner is much more likely than if you’re sitting there microwaving Michelina’s. That said, a basic set of skills to find opportunity should still be cultivated.
Are you still waiting? I know I do it sometimes. Usually this happens in some parts of your life, but not in others. What do you think?