Thursday, May 15, 2008

Are You Lucky?

This is not a reference to last night's Apprentice, not about trucks having fun, not a reference to an old BBC study that showed how you can make your own luck anyway.

But is your glass half-full or half-empty?

First rule out one exception - clearly anyone born with a serious genetic defect or into war-ravaged famine-festering slums is less "lucky" than a broadly healthy person in the developed world. But let us just look at the different ways that people here deal with misfortune …

The usual distinction into optimists and pessimists is too obvious, there are at least three different ways that people tend to deal with the same unfortunate incident:

1. It's no big deal, we understand that it is human nature to remember the occasional disruption more than the usual smooth journey, but these things even out
2. I'm so unlucky, the breaks never go my way, my queue is the slowest, moan moan moan
3. I love the taste of defeat because it only makes me stronger. It's all of part of an almighty master plan.

There is overlap, people behave differently in different situations. Funnily enough, although category 2 (the traditional pessimists) are the pariahs of society, it is category 3 that can sometimes be the most annoying.


Ann said...

In which category would you place your usual response?

R N B said...

The obvious answer is 1. Though there's a bit of 3 in there too.

But I guess most people would say that about themselves, what is more interesting (and more accurate) is what others say. I'm not asking.