A story of luck and optimism

laelene Post in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

I consider myself a very lucky person.  I’m not the one to exclaim that I’ve never won anything before when I get a prize from the radio station, or when I get chosen for a raffle prize.  Though I haven’t actually won anything from my local radio station, that is probably for lack of trying, not for lack of luck.  When I do want something, I often win it, through something that I can really only attribute to luck.  I suppose I also weigh wins heavier than losses, since generally the loss is expected and a win is rare.  So in that respect, it probably also feels far more frequent.  But nonetheless, while most of the population has never won anything, I have – and multiple times too.

I believe that much of it comes from optimism and a general positive state of mind.  Luck, after all, is really what you make of it.  Those who consider themselves to be lucky are far more likely to act in ways that will actually render them to feel more so.  For example, one time when I really wanted to win a pair of uniformed bears being raffled off at my Military Ball, I enlisted the help of my friends and got more ticket entries for that particular prize.  That greatly increased my chances of winning and lo and behold, I had the winning ticket!  If I hadn’t believed in myself, I probably would have either decided there’s no way I’d win and not even try, or just throw my tickets in and not try to increase my chances.  It’s like they say – you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket!  As with anything, you won’t get what you want if you don’t try (and try your best while you’re at it).

Gimme, gimme!

Gimme, gimme!

This played out beautifully in one of my most successful wins ever.  It was the first Friday after school had started again at UCLA in the fall of 2007.  We have a tradition on campus of holding Resfest, an athletic carnival, at the John Wooden Athletic Center.  On-campus residents can go play dodgeball, compete in an obstacle course, even get a henna tattoo!  At the event was a table giving away free rugs, ranging from small 2X2 foot ones shaped like basketballs, footballs, and the like to the grand prize: a 5X8 footer with the UCLA logo!  With my eye on that big rug, I entered to win and dragged along half a dozen of my other friends, one by one, to apply as well.  The people at the table were certainly amused by my dedication.

As I went to wait for the drawings, I headed to one of the gyms where they had the obstacle course set up.  A bunch of my friends were in line to run through the challenge, so I stayed to cheer them on and take pictures.  In all that excitement, I nearly forgot about my beloved rug.  When I went to check my phone, I noticed that I’d missed a call from a number I didn’t recognize.  I immediately went out to the table again and was chatting with them when we discovered that I had been called by them!  Unfortunately, they gave my rug away to someone else, but that was fine, because it was just one of the small ones.  Ninja had come with me and we waited around for the real prize to be drawn, hoping the name they drew would be mine (or his).

Victory picture!

Victory picture!

It wasn’t.  They called the number and I eagerly stood, now hoping that the winner wouldn’t pick up and I’d have another chance.  No such luck!  The girl picked up and came to redeem her prize.  Sad, I watched as they congratulated her and took pictures for the Daily Bruin.  Ninja and I hung around chatting with the tablers and next thing I know, the owner of the company (Campus Mats) who was giving the rugs away kindly offered both of us free rugs (the nice big ones)!  He had been tickled by my pure persistence and enthusiasm in getting all my friends involved so I could win and he said that Ninja deserved one too, for being such a gentleman and not hesitating to agree to give me the rug if he won (some of my other friends weren’t so keen to give it up if they won).  And just like that, we went from no win to double whammy!  He collected our information and a few weeks later, we were proudly clearing the floors in our rooms to put down our wonderful gifts.

It was certainly lucky that the guy was so generous, but it was optimism and positivity that got me to try so hard and attract his attention.  So really, being lucky and optimistic go hand-in-hand.  What it really comes down to is your perception of the world and your subsequent actions that make being lucky easier or harder to come by.  At least that’s my experience, anyway.

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