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Old 01-12-2010, 06:17 PM   #101
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A few years ago my reply would have been much different than the one Iím about to write. In years past, my reply would have been full of reasons why some people are poor and why I, due to some heroic effort of my own, am not. I wouldíve blamed them for making poor choices or for being stupid or lazy, etc. and I wouldíve certainly patted myself on the back for not making some of those bad decisions that lead to becoming poor.

After much reflection, luck, more than anything else, has played a major part in my NOT being poor. I have two siblings and both of them, it seems, have not been as lucky. None of us hit the ďovarian lotteryĒ but as I age, I find that Iíve hit a few, more important lotteries that have enabled me to attain what financial success Iíve been fortunate enough to attain. Iíve hit the intelligence lottery, which has enabled me to make rational choices and think through decisions I make and the consequences of those decisions. This is especially helpful when making decisions that affect my long-term goals such as retirement. Additionally, Iíve hit the powerball when it comes to the spouse lottery. DW is the main reason why I am who I am today. Iíll just say that without her, my life would be much different. And not for the better. There are a number of other minor lotteries Iíve matched up a number or two on along the way. But, to save space, Iíll leave those out.

So, Iíve learned that Iím not nearly as great as I once thought I was. It was nice to think of myself as some sort of superman but those thoughts were clearly misguided. Iím just thankful that Iíve been as fortunate as Iíve been. I just hope my good fortune continues.
Yes I attributed my success to myself entirely until I realized that much of it was circumstance.

Luck is not enough by itself though. You have to make good decisions. Good decisions are not enough by themselves either. You have to have luck also.

The ego gets smaller as you get older.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:42 PM   #102
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None of us hit the ďovarian lotteryĒ
I agree that this is an excellent post. Could you tell me what is the ovarian lottery?

Ha
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:56 PM   #103
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I think it is a variant of Trump's "Lucky Sperm Club"

wealth from inheritance
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:24 PM   #104
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I believe your father was right. There is an advantage to growing up poor, assuming you grow up in the United States or similar countries where opportunities are abundant. I have no regrets about my upbringing. Among other things, it's taught me to be very frugal. In turn, that has caused me to save and be financially secure.
read an article many years ago of a family that were actually multi-millionaires, but the lived humbly and this was kept as a family secret, revealed to the children only after they had established their careers and had turned 40.

my highschool district included the rich part of town, and many came to the public school as it had a great reputation and special programming.

many of the rich kids were spoiled nihilistic punk druggies.

there were a few that were very different. One that I knew was from a family that produced multiple generations of national leaders. He had to get summer work to cover liesure spending. He was directed to take manual labour and farm jobs to toughen him up.

another fellow I knew was told to figure out how to finance his education on his own...as some sort of test and toughening up process.

also, I have seen that being the poorest person in a rich school or rich neighbourhood can put a chip on your shoulder and light a furious fire of ambition.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:42 PM   #105
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I think there's good and bad people out there, the good people usually overcome the odds and the bad people usually get what they deserve...
one study indicated that most people that fail to keep steady employment have negative personalities.

my personal theory is that bad behavior sets up a stressor within the human mind...like there is part of the brain that is watching and judging, which cannot be escaped, and the stress from this leads to instability and substance abuse

no accident that the basis of 12 step is repairing relationships and refraining from harming others
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:00 PM   #106
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one study indicated that most people that fail to keep steady employment have negative personalities.
I heard for an average folk, happiness can be measured by how many people does a person has in his life. What that meant was misery or unhappy people tends to have less families and friends support.


enuff
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:17 PM   #107
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Luck is not enough by itself though. You have to make good decisions. Good decisions are not enough by themselves either. You have to have luck also.
This is so true.

Many people have had the same luck as I have had. But they made different decisions and were not able to retire early, for example. Many people have made the same decisions as I made but did not have the luck I had and were not able to retire early, for example.

Yes, you can have so much luck (i.e. winning the lottery) so that even making a lot of bad decisions you can still retire early. But this is extremely rare.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:54 PM   #108
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That was so sad & funny . You probably had a chart rating your dates .
Not quite. I did keep a huge database of names/phone numbers with any relevant comments about the person, mostly to prevent me from repeat calling of someone I had talked to or met in the past.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:59 PM   #109
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many of the rich kids were spoiled nihilistic punk druggies.
You say that like it's a bad thing

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my personal theory is that bad behavior sets up a stressor within the human mind...like there is part of the brain that is watching and judging, which cannot be escaped, and the stress from this leads to instability and substance abuse
No, Instability and substance abuse are caused by touching yourself.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:58 PM   #110
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I heard for an average folk, happiness can be measured by how many people does a person has in his life. What that meant was misery or unhappy people tends to have less families and friends support.


enuff
as far as happiness, seems some people are hardwired to be unhappy, either by nurture or nature. Sometimes this unhappiness causes them to have interesting lives...depends how you respond to baseline unhappiness, or discontent

on a separate thought, I think for most, they inherit or acquire a vision of themselves as adults, and this vision may be humble, or it may be grand, and where you end up relative to that vision will dictate your "happiness"

I think many of us an look back to school experiences where we perhaps had little money, and lots of friends, and were happy. There is a lesson there. Relative wealth to our peer group is an important factor. Hanging around with people richer than yourself can make you feel inadequate or depressed.

Social connectedness for myself is part of what I call anthropological integrity. It is a broadening of the caveman or paleological diet concept, but applied to your overall lifestyle.

Think about how ancient man lived, or primitive african tribes currently live. This is the lifestyle that your DNA recognizes as wholesome.

To the extent that you deviate from this lifestyle will determine what I call anthropological stress. You reduce this stress by living gregariously, if possible, living with people rather than alone, or in a socially intensive neighourhood, surround yourself with animals and gardens, take calculated risks, eat a primitive diet, live in a tropical climate, walk everywhere, work 4 hours a day, gamble, enjoy the social company of your same sex, ....and so on.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:27 PM   #111
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Here's wishing you and your spousal unit the best. May your resource utilization always be maintained at optimal levels.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:42 AM   #112
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Here's wishing you and your spousal unit the best. May your resource utilization always be maintained at optimal levels.
A long time ago, I filled out a patient info sheet at my Infectious Disease Dr for my emergency contact with my wife's name. Under "Relationship" I wrote "Spousal Unit." Years later I found out that this was perceived as hilarious and I had a great reputation, unknown to me. The staff always talked to me, took care of me, and in general seemed extra nice.

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Old 01-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #113
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Not quite. I did keep a huge database of names/phone numbers with any relevant comments about the person, mostly to prevent me from repeat calling of someone I had talked to or met in the past.
So........you had a "black book" too? Good for you!
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:07 PM   #114
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I suspect that in some cases there are fundamental problems which are beyond a person's control.
I agree.

It's rather like the question why people become seriously ill: very often it is because of an unhealthy lifestyle, but we all know someone who was very fit, had an excellent diet, etc. etc. ... and yet dropped dead at a young age.

While it is possible to 'make your own luck' to some extent, life is not always fair.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:18 PM   #115
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as far as happiness, seems some people are hardwired to be unhappy, either by nurture or nature.
Worth reading: Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:28 PM   #116
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Worth reading: Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness.
several years ago I made a point of ordering a lot of books with happiness in the title, as a sort of informal study.

I think part of the puzzle is learning proper stressor identification, for example, learning the difference between loneliness and boredom. Partly, this is managed by paying close attention to your emotional state when occupied with an engaging activity (not boring), and see if that reduces your negative state. Or, if you are in a pleasant social situation, paying close attention to your emotional state.

When you find something that seems to temporarily change your state, mark that experience, and then start to build on it. For example, I noted at one point in the past that a cat on my wife's lap greatly changed her state, in a positive way. This eventually led to a life emersed in dogs for her.

I have a theory that depressed people are people who can't figure out how to get to a lifestyle that makes them happy, or are too inhibited to live the life they are hard-wired for. Somehow they have fallen into a life or set of values that does not jive with their internal hardware/firmware.

When I encounter someone who is living a "kooky" lifestyle...basically anything out of the ordinary, I think, this is someone who would be depressed if they tried to live in the normal frame, but they had the courage to break out and find something that worked for them.
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:06 PM   #117
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While it is possible to 'make your own luck' to some extent, life is not always fair.
Nicely put Milton. With your permission, I'm making a note of how you worded that.

Oh yeah..... I certainly agree.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:16 PM   #118
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:58 AM   #119
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Yes I attributed my success to myself entirely until I realized that much of it was circumstance.

Luck is not enough by itself though. You have to make good decisions. Good decisions are not enough by themselves either. You have to have luck also.

The ego gets smaller as you get older.


One of my favorite quotes as I have often been told how "lucky" I am.


"Luck is preparation meeting opportunity."
Oprah Winfrey

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Old 01-16-2010, 09:21 AM   #120
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several years ago I made a point of ordering a lot of books with happiness in the title, as a sort of informal study.

I think part of the puzzle is learning proper stressor identification, for example, learning the difference between loneliness and boredom. Partly, this is managed by paying close attention to your emotional state when occupied with an engaging activity (not boring), and see if that reduces your negative state. Or, if you are in a pleasant social situation, paying close attention to your emotional state.

When you find something that seems to temporarily change your state, mark that experience, and then start to build on it. For example, I noted at one point in the past that a cat on my wife's lap greatly changed her state, in a positive way. This eventually led to a life emersed in dogs for her.

I have a theory that depressed people are people who can't figure out how to get to a lifestyle that makes them happy, or are too inhibited to live the life they are hard-wired for. Somehow they have fallen into a life or set of values that does not jive with their internal hardware/firmware.

When I encounter someone who is living a "kooky" lifestyle...basically anything out of the ordinary, I think, this is someone who would be depressed if they tried to live in the normal frame, but they had the courage to break out and find something that worked for them.
Very interesting thoughts! Thank you for sharing!
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