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Chance Rules Our Lives: Self Development

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There are many ways to get motivated. We are encouraged to improve ourselves through training, educational activities, help and guidance on the job and experience. We need time to become experienced. A series of articles in New Philosopher examines the question of, does luck and chance have bearing on how successfully we travel through life. Is luck all we need?

Zan Boog, Editor, New Philosopher, ” The language of luck pervades all aspects of our lives: our draw in the genetic lottery, our friends, family and lovers. The time, place, and socio-economic situation in which we live. But can we exert control over the quality and degree of fortune we experience? Be it good luck or bad luck, the short answer is not really.” Our lives are whether we like it or not, guided by randomness and chance. But this is no reason to despair. On the contrary it is cause for celebration. The thrill of being alive lies in the very fact that life is fragile and uncertain. Zan, ” who wants a life in which you couldn’t ask yourself, what might tomorrow bring?”

These facts should remind us not to be too hard on ourselves when setting goals and considering expectations. In a way when you accept the fact that our lives will be developed through chance and fortune relax into the mood to apply yourself as well and studiously as you can because our joys and disappointments will be forthcoming whether we like it or not.

Quote from Howard Gardner American developmental psychologist, ” No individual can be in full control of his fate. Our strengths come significantly from our history, our experiences largely from the vagaries of chance. But by seizing  the opportunity to leverage and frame these experiences, we gain agency over them. And this heightened agency, in turn, places us in a stronger position to deal with future experiences, even as it may alter our own sense of strengths and possibilities.”  Following on from here it becomes obvious that to throw ourselves into living a life full of as many experiences as we can muster. Think about the times you have heard someone say, “they have potential but need more experience.” Look at it this way. The more experiences you have, the better your chances of catching possibilities and situations to make you stronger as a person.

ampersand-diceWe could do worse than to select this model to combat fear and anxiety when we step into each new day. Sophocles, Ancient Greek Philosopher, quote, ” Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives, and the future is unknown. Best live as we may from day to day.” In this example our attitude should be to think more about getting on with the art of living and producing our best efforts rather than worrying about how we can cope.

How does luck of the draw impact on our success or otherwise? Antonia Case, literary editor of New Philosopher, ” Can you train in luck? In other words, are there exercises or rituals you can perform that boost your luck in life? Psychologists who have delved into the science of luck, think so. They argue that some people can make themselves lucky, just like some people can become fit, muscular, or erudite. It’s just a matter of applying the right strategies.” Richard Wiseman psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire has conducted some research on this subject. If good luck is not a matter of birth or genes, what is it? And can we prime ourselves for more of it. Antonia,” Wiseman discovered that extroverts, those who chat to many people, smile a lot and use open body language, massively expanded their network of luck.” Fortunate people are also more relaxed and open to opportunities. Unlucky people tend to be more anxious, too focused on getting to a meeting on time, thinking about finding a new job or worrying about a problem in their lives. They have a very narrow focused beam of attention that can cause them to miss the unexpected opportunities that surround them on a daily basis. And when it comes to good decision making, the wellspring of luck creation, Wiseman found that lucky people rely more on intuition and gut feelings, whereas unlucky types regularly overrule their internal radar, often to their detriment.

So, we cannot manipulate whatever it is that brings us luck. We can help ourselves to increase our chances of being lucky if we decide to be positive, open and friendly, trust our feelings when making decisions and use these attributes as a set of rules to live our lives. We don’t know what tomorrow brings, see this a a good and interesting negative, believe that chance when it arrives will reward and surprise us. Accept the notion that chance rules our lives and in being positive rather than negative we know that good times lay ahead. Surprise and excitement rule supreme.

Hayley James.

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