Disclaimer: I know nothing. But I have large brain and it tricks me. That is all.
I have a problem with “odds” being an excuse for not accomplishing anything, especially when that anything is not some random event. There are cases where complaining about your odds seems legitimate, like getting struck by lightning and spontaneous human combustion.
First, if those are on your bucket list, bigger issues stalk you. However, even for these seemingly random events, you can increase your odds.
Want to get struck by lightning? Strap a steel pole to your head and stand in a lake.
Spontaneously combust? Take a bath in lighter fluid then smack some rocks together.
I am sitting here, racking my brain and can’t think of ONE thing in which your odds of achievement can’t improve to near 100%.
I am forced to point out the obvious. I can’t run 1,000 miles in 10 minutes. I am a strapping young man, however my odds of getting pregnant are decidedly zero (despite my wife’s protest at the injustice). I get it. Let’s not go there. I will only say that if there are limitations on what you can achieve, they are flaws inherent in being mortal.
I don’t know, I could be wrong. If I am, please tell me. But it seems that the elementary school mantra of “You can do anything you put your mind to” is true. Literally, given time and effort, you can achieve anything. Warm fuzzies for everyone.
What if I am 5 feet tall and want to play in the NBA? Not an excuse. It just means I have to be that much better, practice that much harder and most likely, spend much more time than my vertically gifted competition.
For the love, odds do not have a mind of their own, stacking up in front of you like a totem pole of doom.
The real issue is your expectations.
Attempts have been made to establish a success rate for getting drafted into the NBA, getting rich, and even getting your book published. These are beyond stupid.
Why? They include people unwilling to put in the work.
The dismal chance of being struck by lightning includes both my huddled form and the crazy man swaying in a tree top with a golf club.
I can’t expect to publish a book without toiling over drafts, scrapping ideas, perfecting storytelling and crying four times. But if my book is incredible, it will get published. Show me the best book in the world that remains unpublished and I’ll show you the loan I just took out to publish it.
Nothing is random. You aren’t throwing your goals into a hat.
“Man, the chances of getting _______ are so super sucky…”
Call it like it is.
“I’m not willing to put in the work.”
9 thoughts on “May the Odds Be Ever Your Manservant”
A determined optimist! I like that in you, Peter! Warm fuzzies back to you too!
Ha ha warm fuzzies!
This is a great post! I had a similar conversation with a friend the other day. I was pointing out that setting goals and accomplishing them is very rewarding. And i very seldom make it happen. I acknowledge why, and it’s because I am lazy. Yes, I admit it. I don’t make excuses… anymore. It is what it is. there’s no point in putting blame on others or trivial circumstances. But if I honor myself, laziness shouldn’t even be a reason for my lack of accomplishments. I should be putting in the work, and not because of what others may say or how I may be viewed, but because I owe it to myself. I have a job because I need money to sustain myself. But I am working for an employer and it’s making him more money. So yes, I should be putting in the work for the things that I want to achieve as well.
If I’m hungry, I make myself something to eat.
You are not alone in your laziness. It haunts me too. But most people excuse it as something else so I applaud your acknowledgment and willingness to accept that goals are achieved through work, not Lady Luck patting your rump.
And your food analogy is a perfect summary. Maybe even an alternate title:
“Hungry? Make Yourself a Sammich!”
I can’t believe I just saw this reply! I like your title :-p
Love, love, love this post. You’ve got to be tenacious to achieve your goals and that includes going forward in the face of odds that are against you. (Also, I PRAY I only have to cry four times to get published…)
But thats the thing, if you are tenacious enough, odds are irrelevant because you will achieve your goal through sheer effort.
And yes, I may have been a bit generous in thinking I will cry so little. 🙂
Hey, I’m not lazy! I’m motivationally challenged! Yes, I just made up a word and I like it!
Love the post 🙂
You are so right, Peter! Many people plod through life complaining about how they can’t ______. My mother was one of those who was always wishing for her life to be different yet doing nothing to change anything. I have to admit I fell into that mindset for a long time. But as I got older, I realized that I had to make the life I wanted for myself. And I’m still working on it. 🙂
I think as long as we remember who to blame it on (ourselves), there’s not a problem with working on it forever. I’m sure planning on it. Then, when I reach that point of disgust, I’ll know who’s arse to kick.