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jerryking : chance   20

‘I Wish You Bad Luck,’ He Said With Good Intentions
Dec. 28, 2017 | WSJ | By Bob Greene.

In Spring 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts delivered a commencement address to his son's grade 9 graduation ceremony that offered a universal lesson about the value to be found in generosity of spirit. Roberts prepared the advice offered in his speech specifically for the commencement address, as he set out to reflect upon “some of the harsh realities that everyone will face in the course of a full life,” and how to anticipate them and learn from them....His speech was structured in pairs.....He told his audience that commencement speakers will typically “wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why.

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.

“I hope that you will suffer betrayal, because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.

“Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.

“I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.

“And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.

“I hope you’ll be ignored so that you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.

“Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Also,......“Once a week, you should write a note to someone. Not an email. A note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly 10 minutes.” Then, Roberts urged, put the note in an envelope and send it off the old way: via the mail.

The handwritten note, he said, might express appreciation for someone who has helped you out or treated you with kindness, and who may not know how grateful you are.........here’s a toast to bad luck, and to its hidden gifts. First, though, the corner mailbox awaits. Gratitude is priceless, but conveying it costs no more than a postage stamp.
advice  betrayals  chance  commencement  failure  friendships  gratitude  handwritten  John_Roberts  judges  justice  life_skills  loyalty  luck  pairs  speeches  sportsmanship  U.S._Supreme_Court  values  compassion  listening  inspiration  teachable_moments  counterintuitive  tough_love  good_intentions 
may 2019 by jerryking
Can Trump Handle a Foreign Crisis?
Feb. 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Peggy Noonan.

He’ll face one eventually, and there’s good reason to worry the administration will be unprepared.

Someday this White House will face a sudden, immediate and severe foreign-policy crisis..... past and present officials of this administration are concerned on how the White House would handle a crisis......History resides in both the unexpected and the long-predicted. Russia moves against a U.S. ally, testing Washington’s commitment to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty; a coordinated cyber action by our adversaries takes down the American grid; China, experiencing political unrest within a background of a slowing economy, decides this is a good time to move on Taiwan; someone bombs Iran’s missile sites; Venezuela explodes in violence during a military crackdown; there’s an accidental launch somewhere..... historian Margaret MacMillan said ....“I think we should never underestimate the sheer role of accident.”....Everything depends on personnel, process and planning. The president and his top advisers have to work closely, with trust and confidence, quickly comprehending the shape of the challenge and its implications. There must be people around him with wisdom, judgment, experience. They must know their jobs and be able to execute them under pressure. Clear lines of communication are key between both individuals and agencies.....keep their eyes on the million moving pieces, military and diplomatic, that comprise a strategy.......During the Berlin airlift, thought at the time to be the height of the Cold War, Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who’d been Army chief of staff during World War II, was asked how worried he was. “I’ve seen worse,” he replied. He had. ......“No administration is ready for its first crisis,” says Richard Haass, who was a member of George H.W. Bush’s NSC and is author of “A World in Disarray.” “What you learn is that the machinery isn’t adequate, or people aren’t ready.” First crises trigger reforms of procedures so that second ones are better handled. ......There is no way, really, to simulate a crisis, because you don’t know what’s coming, and key people are busy doing their regular jobs. And all administrations, up until the point they’re tested, tend to be overconfident. What can they do to be readier? Think, study, talk and plan.....For a modern example of good process, personnel and management, there is the Cuban missile crisis. .....the stakes couldn’t have been higher.......It might be good to have regular situation-room meetings on what-ifs, and how to handle what-ifs, and to have deep contingency planning with intelligence, military and civilian leaders discussing scenarios. “Put yourself in a position,” says Mr. Haass, “where you’re less unread when a crisis does occur.”.......Margaret MacMillan again: People not only get used to peace and think it’s “the normal state of affairs,” they get used to the idea that any crisis can be weathered, because they have been in the past. But that’s no guarantee of anything, is it?
adversaries  chance  contingency_planning  crisis  Donald_Trump  U.S.foreign_policy  JFK  Margaret_MacMillan  overconfidence  Richard_Haass  security_&_intelligence  unexpected  White_House  unprepared  accidents  Cuban_Missile_Crisis  luck  Peggy_Noonan  preparation  readiness  George_Marshall  normality  unforeseen 
february 2019 by jerryking
We can only tackle epidemics by preparing for the unexpected
MAY 28, 2018 | FT| Anjana Ahuja.

"[Chance] Fortune favors the prepared [mind]"

Other pathogens on the WHO’s hit list for priority research include Ebola and the related Marburg virus; Lassa fever; Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever; Mers coronavirus; Sars; Rift Valley fever; Zika; and Disease X.

Many of these are being targeted by the billion-dollar Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, with a mission to develop “new vaccines for a safer world”. Cepi is backed by several national governments — including those of Japan and Norway — the Wellcome Trust, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The coalition has just announced that, following events in Kerala, it will prioritise a Nipah vaccine.

Disease X, incidentally, is the holding name for a “black swan” — an unknown pathogen that could glide in from nowhere to trigger panic. Preparedness is not all about facing down familiar foes. It is also about being ready for adversaries that have not yet shown their hand. [expand our imaginations. The next catastrophe may take an unprecedented form----Simon Kuper]
black_swan  catastrophes  chance  disasters  disaster_preparedness  epidemics  flu_outbreaks  panics  pathogens  preparation  readiness  unexpected  unknowns  viruses 
may 2018 by jerryking
Infosys: foundering on the rocks
August 2017 | Financial Times LEX
Founders of well-run companies tend not to believe in luck. Commercial success to them comes from hard work and smart thinking, usually from the founder. In time, some pass the management of their enterprises on to others, recognizing a need for a change.
hard_work  Infosys  boards_&_directors_&_governance  founders  artificial_intelligence  luck  succession  chance  contingency 
august 2017 by jerryking
Rules for Modern Living From the Ancient Stoics -
May 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Massimo Pigliucci.

Stoicism is practical and humane, and it has plenty to teach us. The philosophy may have been developed around 300 B.C. by Zeno of Cyprus, but it is increasingly relevant today, as evidenced by the popularity of events such as Stoicon, an international conference set to hold its fourth annual gathering in Toronto this October.

The Stoics had centuries to think deeply about how to live, and they developed a potent set of exercises to help us navigate our existence, appreciating the good while handling the bad. These techniques have stood the test of time over two millennia. Here are five of my favorites.

(1) Learn to separate what is and isn’t in your power. This lets you approach everything with equanimity and tranquility of mind. ...Understand and internalize the difference, and you will be happier with your efforts, regardless of the outcome.

(2) Contemplate the broader picture. Looking from time to time at what the Stoics called “the view from above” will help you to put things in perspective and sometimes even let you laugh away troubles that are not worth worrying about. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius made a note of this in his famous personal diary, “The Meditations”: “Altogether the interval is small between birth and death; and consider with how much trouble, and in company with what sort of people and in what a feeble body, this interval is laboriously passed.”

(3) Think in advance about challenges you may face during the day. A prepared mind may make all the difference between success and disaster.

(4) Be mindful of the here and now (i.e. living in the moment). The past is no longer under your control: Let it go. The future will come eventually, but the best way to prepare for it is to act where and when you are most effective—right here, right now.

(5) Before going to bed, write in a personal philosophical diary. This exercise will help you to learn from your experiences—and forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Stoicism was meant to be a practical philosophy. It isn’t about suppressing emotions or stalking through life with a stiff upper lip. It is about adjusting your responses to what happens, enduring what must be endured and enjoying what can be enjoyed.
Stoics  philosophy  Romans  journaling  self-discipline  mindfulness  span_of_control  mybestlife  preparation  beforemath  sense_of_proportion  the_big_picture  anticipating  contextual  forward_looking  foresight  GTD  perspectives  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  chance  living_in_the_moment  Greek  personal_control 
june 2017 by jerryking
Life lessons: Looking back and taking stock - Western Alumni
Life lessons: Looking back and taking stock

by Paul Wells, BA'89

“Young people are educated in many ways,” he wrote, “but they are given relatively little help in understanding how a life develops, how careers and families evolve, what are the common mistakes and the common blessings of modern adulthood.”.....every few months when I sit down to write one of these columns, I do a little stock-taking. And a few times after a major screw-up or a minor triumph I’ve tried to do it in a more formal way. It’s true that just about every time I’ve bet everything on a new direction, it’s worked out better than if I’d stayed put. Once I bet everything and it worked out very badly. But even then, failure made a better life possible.

These are not lessons university teaches us well. Partly that’s because the young so rarely have any interest in learning them. I spent a lot more time at Western trying to figure out how to be successful than I did trying to figure out how to be happy. I figured 'happy' was in the gods’ hands, not mine. Almost everything that followed was accident.

To the extent we can learn how to live a good life, I think that so far, we learn it better from the arts and humanities than from science or even social science. Aristotle and Haydn have helped get me out of more fixes than cell biology did, although to be fair I was a lousy scientist. I’m quite sure it’ll never be possible to know, to three decimal places, how to live life well. Too many variables. But the question is still worth asking.

I’m with the Yale class of ’42. Change and risk have stood me in better stead than stasis and worry ever did. There may be a role for universities in teaching that much, at least.
advice  anti-résumé  chance  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Brooks  failure  happiness  lessons_learned  life_lessons  next_play  no_regrets  Paul_Wells  reflections  risk-taking  success  UWO 
february 2017 by jerryking
Eight ways to become the most proactive person you know - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL MOGILL
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Tuesday, Dec. 09 2014

It’s all about you. No one else is going to get you where you want to go – it’s up to you.... Take ownership of your problems, and realize that nobody else is going to solve them for you.

Be solution-focused. ...The most effective way to handle a problem is to focus on finding a solution. Focusing on things that are out of your control is a waste of time, so focus on what you can control with the final outcome.

Be accountable. Set your clearly defined, quantifiable goal and then work backwards from that goal to establish metrics to track and evaluate it.

Use “SMART” goals. S: Specific (Pick something particular instead of using a broad category.) M: Measurable (Choose something you can quantify.) A: Attainable (You should actually be able to reach this, and it may just require the right steps.) R: Realistic (Be honest – it’s probably unrealistic to say you will go from making $10,000 to being a billionaire in one year.)T: Timely (Give each goal a timeframe to create a sense of urgency.)

Make your own luck. Being successful ... is about taking steps every day to be better than you were the day before by moving in a positive, forward trajectory. Make a blueprint and set out milestones for yourself in specific timeframes, or you are not going to hit your goal. Things do not come to fruition just because you really, really want them to happen. You have to make them happen.

Be consistent. Ultimately, success is not about getting everything right. It is about being consistent. Are you consistently and persistently taking steps every day to steadily move toward your goal?

Find the right people. Surrounding yourself with driven, effective people is a proven way to help you succeed.

Honesty is the best policy. Busywork is not effectiveness/progress. At the end of the day, if you don’t hit your goals, you are only doing a disservice to yourself. You cannot get better if you tell yourself, “Oh, it’s okay, I’m fine where I am.” (There has to be a certain element of sustained dissatisfaction).
accountability  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  blueprints  books  busywork  chance  character_traits  consistency  contingency  creating_opportunities  dissatisfaction  effectiveness  goal-setting  GTD  honesty  indispensable  intrinsically_motivated  It's_up_to_me  JCK  ksfs  luck  Managing_Your_Career  personal_control  proactivity  problem_solving  productivity  rainmaking  restlessness  self-starters  solutions  solution-finders  span_of_control  the_right_people  thinking_backwards  work-back_schedules 
december 2014 by jerryking
5 Things Super Lucky People Do
Mar 17, 2014 | Inc. Magazine | BY Kevin Daum.

1. Play to your strengths. So much time and energy is wasted trying to do things you probably don't do very well. Author and Inc. columnist Lewis Schiff learned from his survey of incredibly wealthy people that they got that way by focusing only on what they do best. Everything else you can delegate, or you could find a partner to compensate for your weaknesses. That way, you will shine where you excel and attract opportunity. Good things come to those who emanate success.

2. Prepare in advance. Unlucky people often get that way because they're reactive and unprepared for whatever comes. People who have stored food and water in their basements aren't lucky to find themselves prepared when disaster strikes, they used forethought to make sure they had what they might need just in case. I personally scoff at this horrible recent trend of disparaging business plans because things change constantly. The point of a business plan isn't to follow it no matter what, it's to establish a structure for smart decision making that allows you to succeed no matter what the future might bring.

3. Start early. Some people seem to have more hours in the day. I myself don't need more than six hours of sleep and am constantly finding ways to be more efficient. I use that extra time to start my projects well in advance. My rewards aren't dependent upon the time of day that I take action. (This column is being written at 3 a.m.) But it does matter that I'm beginning to explore projects I expect to complete months or years from now. So many people only want to put their energy into things that provide immediate gratification. The most fortunate people I know are the ones who planted seeds early and now reap that harvest of happiness.

4. Connect with as many people as possible. The key to success is access to opportunity. Access comes from influence. If you're influential, people will come and bring opportunities to you. The bigger your following, the more powerful your influence. The only way to build a big following is to provide value to many people. You have to provide the sort of value that will cause people to spread your thoughts far and wide, attributing credit to you when they do. Are you creating that kind of value? If not, figure how you can.

5. Follow up. Opportunities often come and go because people don't respond in a timely manner. I'm always amazed when people ask me for something and I respond only to never hear from them again. Three months ago, a young woman asked me if I hire interns or assistants. I replied immediately saying I'm always willing to consider hiring people who bring value to my work. I asked her how she thought she could enhance what I could do. I never heard from her again. Perhaps she now considers herself unlucky that opportunity doesn't come her way. I believe that following up is often more powerful and impressive than the act of initiating.
tips  luck  Communicating_&_Connecting  opportunities  JCK  focus  preparation  readiness  value_creation  networking  following_up  self-starters  overachievers  strengths  affirmations  forethought  weaknesses  individual_initiative  unprepared  chance  contingency  partnerships  high-achieving  early_risers 
march 2014 by jerryking
Six Months to Act: The SARS Epidemic
April 25, 2003 | WSJ | By DONALD S. BURKE.

Louis Pasteur, father of microbiology, wisely counseled that "Chance favors the prepared mind." For the moment, chance is on our side. But we have just six months to complete the job of the global eradication of the SARS coronavirus. After that, when the seasonal epidemic flares next year, it will be too late.
epidemics  HIV  viruses  SARS  seminal_moments  chance  preparation 
june 2012 by jerryking
The hits and misses of history
Nov. 5, 2011 | The Financial Times. p7 | Simon Kuper.
Assassinations are rare occasions when the fate of nations can seem to hang on a sandwich, a briefcase or a roll of fat - in other words, on chance....some assassins do genuinely seem to change the course of events. In their 2009 paper, "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War",Benjamin Jones and Benjamin Olken identified 298 serious assassination attempts against leaders worldwide since 1875. They found: "A country whose autocrat is assassinated is 13 percentage points more likely to move toward democracy in the following year than a country where the assassination attempt on the autocrat failed." In democracies, the authors say, assassinations didn't make a noticeable difference, so perhaps Oswald really didn't change history. Jones and Olken also argue that assassinations can affect the course of conflicts.

In short, many assassinations matter. And because leaders are so well-protected, chance often determines whether the assassination succeeds.
history  targeted_assassinations  assassinations  chance  autocrats 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Slow Hunch: How Innovation is Created Through Group Intelligence
By Dan Rowinski / June 9, 2011

Chance favors the connected mind. That is what author Steven B. Johnson says to those looking for the next big idea. Johnson is the author of "Where Ideas Come From" a book that looks at the macro trends on how innovation evolves.

Ideas are rarely created through a "eureka" moment....Johnson believes that ideas are born of a "slow hunch" that are made possible through periods of technological innovation and evolution. If you are creating a startup, where do you get your ideas from?

Innovation is often made possible by the evolution of networked possibilities....
The Hive Mind & Collective Intelligence

"It is just this idea that if you diversify and have an electric range of interests and you are constantly getting interesting stories about things that you do not know that much about or are adjacent to your particular field of expertise you are much more likely to come up with innovative ideas," Johnson told ReadWriteWeb.

The same approach would work well for developers and innovators working on the next technology breakthrough. Startup founders should take step back from their project and ask what type of similar projects have been undertaken in a completely different field and see if those lessons can be applied to their project.

"The trick is to look at something different and borrow ideas. It is like saying 'this worked for that field, if we put it here what would it do in this new context?'" Johnson said.

In today's world, the ability to branch out of your field of expertise has been made much easier through social media. You can follow what is happening in your niche through a specifically created Twitter list, but it is also beneficial to create lists of people working in different sectors as well.

"The important thing is that this is not some kind of hive-mind wisdom of the crowds, collective intelligence network smarts," Johnson said. "The unit is still the individual or the small group. There are some examples of group intelligence. This is an example instead of taking individuals in small groups and making them smarter by connecting them to a wider range of influences."
adjacencies  collective_intelligence  innovation  grouping  Steven_Johnson  start_ups  chance  probabilities  idea_generation  ideas  Communicating_&_Connecting  cross-pollination  cross-disciplinary  interconnections  learning_journeys  connected_learning  wisdom_of_crowds 
october 2011 by jerryking
Chance Favors the Connected Mind
September 27, 2010 | Jam Side Down | by Marty Manley. This
weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a very insightful article by
Steve Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You, which argues
that video games and TV shows are actually making us smarter and The
Ghost Map, which chronicles the heroic efforts of John Snow to prove
that London's terrifying 19th century cholera epidemics were water
borne, not airborne as widely believed.

The article is condensed from Johnson's forthcoming Where Good Ideas
Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, which describes the
conditions under which "ideas have sex" and multiply. He has also
released a YouTube video that is both a captivating summary and a
brilliant piece of media.
book_reviews  books  cholera  innovation  YouTube  Steven_Johnson  interconnections  ideas  idea_generation  luck  chance  information_spillover  ideaviruses  connected_learning  collective_intelligence  contingency  19th_century  virality 
october 2010 by jerryking
Messy Times for Ben Bernanke and the Fed - NYTimes.com
May 14, 2010 | New York Times | By SEWELL CHAN. "we had neither
the mandate nor the tools to be the financial system’s supercop. "
Notes: (1) read “The Great Contraction, 1929-1933,” in which Milton
Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz blamed the Fed’s failure to expand
the money supply for the Depression’s severity and duration. (2)
“Because I appreciate the role of chance and contingency in human
events, I try to be appropriately realistic about my own capabilities. I
know there is much that I don’t know.”

— Ben S. Bernanke, May 22, 2009
(3) “Keep a ‘gratitude journal,’ in which you routinely list
experiences and circumstances for which you are grateful.”

— Ben S. Bernanke, May 8, 2010
economists  Benjamin_Bernanke  U.S._Federal_Reserve  gratitude  messiness  pretense_of_knowledge  Great_Depression  Milton_Friedman  humility  unknowns  chance  luck  contingency  books  economics  economic_history  financial_system  frequency_and_severity 
may 2010 by jerryking
Chances Are - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
April 25, 2010 | New York Times | By STEVEN STROGATZ. NOTES:

1. For a good textbook treatment of conditional probability and
Bayes’s theorem, see:
S.M. Ross, “Introduction to Probability and Statistics for
Engineers and Scientists,” 4th edition (Academic Press, 2009).
4. For many entertaining anecdotes and insights about conditional
probability and its real-world applications, as well as how it’s
misperceived, see:
J.A. Paulos, “Innumeracy” (Vintage, 1990);
L. Mlodinow, “The Drunkard’s Walk” (Vintage, 2009).
statistics  mathematics  books  probabilities  risks  luck  chance  contingency  innumeracy  anecdotal 
may 2010 by jerryking
Behind all successes are a series of failures
Mar 31, 2010 | Financial Times. pg. 18 | Luke Johnson. while
improvement is essential, it pays to keep blame in proportion. Chance
plays a huge role in life, so do not torture yourself unnecessarily in
the wake of a mistake. And by the same token, try to avoid making so
many excuses that you sound as if you're in denial. Honestly analyse the
reasons why things did not go your way, and then move on.
ProQuest  Luke_Johnson  resilience  bouncing_back  failure  setbacks  sense_of_proportion  luck  chance  contingency  self-analysis  blaming_fingerpointing 
april 2010 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: "It doesn't hurt to ask"
Posted by Seth Godin on May 18, 2009. Every once in a while, of
course, asking out of the blue pays off. So what? That is dwarfed by
the extraordinary odds of failing. Instead, invest some time and earn
the right to ask. Do your homework. Build connections. Make a reasonable
request, something easy and mutually beneficial. Yes leads to yes which
just maybe leads to the engagement you were actually seeking.
Seth_Godin  questions  requests  mutually_beneficial  pitches  upselling  chance  courage  preparation 
december 2009 by jerryking
How To Make Your Own Luck
December 19, 2007 | Fast Company | By Daniel H. Pink. Lucky
people think differently from unlucky people in different ways. One way
is to be open to new experiences. Unlucky people are stuck in routines.
When they see something new, they want no part of it. Lucky people
always want something new. They're prepared to take risks and relaxed
enough to see the opportunities in the first place.
Daniel_Pink  novel  personal_growth  career_paths  innovation  strategic_planning  luck  risk-taking  howto  routines  rainmaking  open_mind  curiosity  chance  contingency  think_differently 
june 2009 by jerryking
Practically Speaking - Creative People Say Inspiration Isn’t All Luck - NYTimes.com
Published: October 22, 2008 | New York Times | By MICKEY MEECE

Serendipity often plays a role in generating big ideas...inspiration,
but equally as important is having an open mind — especially in
tumultuous times like these. Big and small ideas are out there--if you
are looking for them.

2008 IdeaFestival was created by Kris Kimel whose own “Aha!” moment
occurred after attending the Sundance Film Festival and wondering about
hosting a diverse festival that celebrates ideas. In 2000, he helped
create the IdeaFestival, which brings together creative thinkers from
different disciplines to connect ideas in science, the arts, design,
business, film, technology and education. The goal is to promote
“out-of-the-box thinking and cross-fertilization as a means toward the
development of innovative ideas, products and creative endeavors.”
Aha!_moments  chance  conferences  contingency  creativity  creative_types  cross-pollination  entrepreneurship  ideas  idea_generation  ideacity  inspiration  luck  Mickey_Meece  open_mind  out-of-the-box  science_&_technology  serendipity  small_business  TED  thinking_big 
april 2009 by jerryking
Luck Isn't Lucky At All - Brian Babcock
February 20, 2004| First published in the Globe and Mail| By BRIAN BABCOCK

start to anticipate.
Brian_Babcock  introspection  self-analysis  Managing_Your_Career  anticipating  luck  chance  contingency  self-awareness  self-assessment 
april 2009 by jerryking

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