The number 13 is renowned for being unlucky. Combined with several bad times this week, I have found myself lacking inspiration for this entry. January is a bad month for many reasons, and as queen of optimism I wrote an article encouraging everybody to embrace the rubbish. Following the e-mail notification that I didn’t receive a Fulbright Award for postgraduate funding, and several incidents involving burnt pasta bake and awful car-parking, I have been feeling a little out-of-luck. I know, keep trying; rejection is important, and the Fulbright Awards are incredibly competitive. In regards to my personal life, I am currently feeling like a fly that just flew into a window. The fly did not know the window was there. To what extent do we make our own luck?
The optimist is a believer in fate; things will turn out how they are meant to, regardless of actions taken. This removes personal responsibility, encourages the taking of chances and gives one a carefree life. How lucky is the optimist? If fate is the owner of outcome, the optimist is faithful that luck will come due to belief in fate. The optimist has no control over their luck in this sense, by surrendering to fate, the optimist is cutting opportunity to wait and see. If any action has a positive outcome when it is presented by fate, the optimist could result in ruining the outcome they would have chosen if they took responsibility. The fly wants to get into the room, but misses the window.
Pessimists believe in fate also; that they have no control over their own luck. Pessimism is reinforced by the refusal to believe one can control an outcome via action. The fly has no choice but to fly towards the window. It is deceived by the clear glass, and believes it will reach the room it can view. Pessimists view this fly as the optimist, so opt to wait outside the window until further notice. You cannot win the lottery without buying a ticket, yet the pessimist refuses the attempt due to fear of failure. By cutting themselves off from this chance, the pessimist is damaging their luck. The window will be open on many days, yet the fly will miss this.
Taking a chance is important, but without the firm belief that chance will lead to success. The people in the half-way house between optimism and pessimism make their own luck. Without fearing fate, or living in hope of it, the half-way residents learn from their experiences whilst encouraging luck. In regards to creating luck, we usually know what we need to do for this, but are reluctant to do so due to fear or ignorance. I could have avoided applying for the Fulbright Awards due to a fear of failure. I could also stop applying for funding opportunities, and instead believe in fate; if I am meant to get to America, I will. I believe in creating your own luck; taking opportunities and not giving up when it is ‘not meant to be.’ Sometimes life catches you out, but the ability to proceed in taking action makes you strong. The glass may be half-full or half-empty, but you do the pouring.