After a book of 100 life philosophy and mantra quotes I had written for myself over the years just last year, I’ve been writing more for my next book. What I thought was going to be a dangerous Confucius in my old age, armed with life philosophies, is ultimately going to end up more than twice as bad, because I think I will be able to write far more than another 100 in the next 30 years or so! Oh, pity those who will be my friends then, and my wagging pointing fingers, LOL! This is my latest life philosophy quote and mantra for myself.
Why do people pursue or engage in activities where the desired outcomes are extremely unlikely to occur? Buying lottery tickets would be the example almost everyone could relate to, where the odds are anywhere from tens or hundreds of thousands, to tens or hundreds of millions, to one, of winning the big prize, or even a decent prize. The popular answer might be hope, which is the thing that keeps us going when odds in life look the longest against us, but for the common activities, where there is no desperation, like with most people buying lottery tickets who can spare the money to gamble away, I would argue it’s more foolishness than hope.
Somewhere between foolishness of lotteries, and hope of desperate situations, often forced upon us, or even of our own doing, is belief, for situations we get ourselves into with some aspects we can control, like our performance during competitions, whether physical, mental, or otherwise. Examples include races, chess tournaments, writing competitions, among many other situations. We can prepare well, then believe that we can do well to a certain extent, or do well with a little luck given how well prepared we are. Luck does favour the prepared, after all, as someone once said. Hmmm. That seems to be some Edna Mole character, plagarphrasing Louis Pasteur’s more elegant “fortune favours the prepared mind”. Anyhow, it is these situations where my quote of
“Nobody buys lottery tickets
thinking winning is a short shot”
is applicable. It’s what I found myself telling me and I while working on a writing mentorship application for most of the week and weekend prior to this. It was my retort to that negative nagging question of why I was doing all that work considering I’d be a long shot, despite the “artistic case” I was trying to rationalize to myself that I wasn’t buying. Instead, I found this retort to be more effective, and effective enough to get me through, so it’s now in my collection of mantras and life philosophies I have written for myself. It will be my “go to” mantra for anything I will undertake in the future where the odds seem long to begin with. I won’t bother to rationalize how I might succeed after my initial assessment and commitment to go for it regardless of the odds. In such manufactured situations of desperation, like real situations of desperation, rationalization won’t work well. When it comes to desperation, it will be belief that will get me through, not rational thought, and this new quote of mine is definitely a statement of belief… even if it emphasizes it with rationalization of people’s foolishness. 🙂
Click on the Q drop cap at the top of the post to see more of my quotes on this blog, and much better essays than this daily exercise, unedited, one for this new quote.