Beach Walk 156 – Lucky or Smart?

Does it matter if you’re lucky or smart?

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About Today’s Show

The interview I read last week with Dr. Ben Barres mentioned something I’ve been thinking about: luck vs. accomplishment or grace vs. merit. He said he feels lucky to be teaching at Stanford, but imagines that Lawrence Summers feels deserving to be at Harvard.

I’ve often wondered how actors will thank God for their awards but business people tend to attribute success to their own making. I see a lot of holes, as you can “do all the right things” and still fail, and of course do all the “wrong things” and have a fabulous success. Clearly, there are many things outside of our control, and I find it curious that in some fields we dismiss those things so readily.

Here’s my logic. Since we cannot prove whether a result occurs exclusively from our own merit, then that means we can try the things we want! It means that if we fail at something, it may or may not have been our “fault.” I find it much more useful to observe “what worked for me, what didn’t” and “Do I want to try that again?” It is so easy to get so invested in the results, and think they actually mean something other than they are the results of this one particular task. A single experience does not measure the true relevance of any given goal and it certainly does not measure your talent or brains.

Hawaiian words
Hana: business, labor

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