Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-30-2013, 11:58 AM   #41
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jollystomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,362
I don't have a problem with folks feeling that luck is a factor in one's life. My greater concern is how they react to that feeling.

My observation is that folks who attribute most of ones good fortunes or outcomes to luck also send the implied message that "since it is luck, there is nothing you can do about, don't even try, your only hope is in some entity to guarantee things for you". I see this resulting in people not even being willing to try. It is a shame, since I have had the opportunity to speak at schools from grade school through college, as well as at professional career seminars, to see how prevalent that attitude has become.

I have never believed in guarantees. After all, none of us can guarantee we will be alive 24 hours from now. But I believe in taking actions that will increase the odds in ones favor, regardless of the hand one has been dealt. That doesn't guarantee anything, but it makes those "lucky" outcomes more likely, or at least improve the odds of getting a little closer to them. And that is the best you can expect from life.

To give up trying, and to put all of your faith in the lottery or the government as your only hope (I'm not anti-government, but it is a human construct and just as fallible for complete reliability) - that is the danger I see when "luck" is emphasized.
__________________

__________________
Current target FIRE date: Under negotiation, can happen anytime.
jollystomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-30-2013, 12:35 PM   #42
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
frayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: 19th Hole
Posts: 2,532
To a large degree you make your own luck.
__________________

__________________
A totally unblemished life is only for saints.
frayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 01:05 PM   #43
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: San Jose
Posts: 607
I'm definitely a believer that luck, karma, fate, blessings, connections (whatever you want to call it) is a large factor, at least in my history.

I changed careers in 2005 and became a real estate agent because I was fed up with the IT world, but I couldn't have picked a worse year to enter real estate. I ended up spending literally every dollar I had trying to keep things running, only to have to move back into IT with about $1000 in my pocket, and start all over at the age of 41 with no savings.

In the years since then, I managed to make a couple job moves that landed me at a pre-IPO startup where I was still a fairly early employee (mid double-digits) with a decent option grant. That company has performed well beyond expectations, to the point where I might be able to (semi?) retire in another 20 months or so.

When I was looking for that next job, I actually had two offers on the same day - the place I joined, and one other. That wasn't my intention, as I wasn't trying to pit two places against each other. But I did talk to multiple places at once to cultivate as many opportunities as I could, and they both happened to make offers on the same day.

One didn't "feel" right at all (the product, the people, the location, the prospects, etc), and one did. So I turned down the one that didn't, and went with the one that did. The guy whom I turned down wanted to meet the next day and try to talk me into it. Their offer was for more money, bonus plan, more options, etc. He even said he had the offer with him, if I wanted to review it. I told him no, the other place just "felt" right to me, and I was going with them. He made a comment something like...I guess we'll find out in four years which one of us made the right decision (I know it sounds like a snarky comment writing it out here, but it wasn't...just kind of a tongue-in-cheek way of saying I wonder which one of us made the better choice).

I have no doubt in my mind I made the right choice. If I had joined that other place, I would be kicking myself right now.

So...long story short...I could try to rationalize that my choices, if they result in a life-changing windfall, were all my doing and the result of my careful maneuvering of my career, but they weren't. Luck/blessings/connections played a large part. I could have just as easily decided the other job offer with its larger salary, was the right way to go, and then be kicking myself right now.
__________________
LoneAspen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 02:31 PM   #44
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Have the places you worked at only laid off poor performers? No layoffs because of the economy? Outsourcing? Company relocation? Highest paid? Covert age discrimination?
Layoffs are based on performance, but have gone much deeper than just poor performers. Just like at Lake Wogebon, everybody who is still there is well above average.
__________________
Which Roger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 02:38 PM   #45
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Which Roger View Post

Layoffs are based on performance, but have gone much deeper than just poor performers. Just like at Lake Wogebon, everybody who is still there is well above average.
And lucky.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #46
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
I guess I can see where people might discount the good luck factor in an individual's success and attribute it to hard work and planning. Do you also discount bad luck, like young people who bought their first house in 2006, or Boeing folks who got laid off when the company headquarters moved?
The way I see it is not so much the events but what you do are able to do as a result.

In the first, that sucks, but if are living below your means, the impact on you will be much less severe than if you are not. You might have to eat a loss on an underwater mortgage if you want to move, but otherwise, assuming you have the money (which very well is the result of saving, not luck) you are hurt less than if you had no savings at all and were living paycheck to paycheck and now can't move.

Similarly, if you lose your job, if you have significant emergency savings you can be much more flexible in finding new employment. If you have $1 to your name, you are hosed.

Basically, preparation drastically mitigates the negative for bad luck. It does not remove it, but it helps allow you to not be destroyed by them and maybe even turn them into situations which are better.
__________________
enderland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 07:03 PM   #47
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,326
In a some what related study from UC Berkeley -

"In a Monopoly game rigged to give a randomly selected player extra starting cash and dice rolls, the player who had that advantage was more likely to say he deserved to win based on his skills (rather than his luck in a coin toss at the start)."

The game was rigged so that the player losing the coin toss had no way of ever winning.
__________________
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 07:24 PM   #48
Recycles dryer sheets
chasesfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
I don't have a problem with folks feeling that luck is a factor in one's life. My greater concern is how they react to that feeling.

My observation is that folks who attribute most of ones good fortunes or outcomes to luck also send the implied message that "since it is luck, there is nothing you can do about, don't even try, your only hope is in some entity to guarantee things for you". I see this resulting in people not even being willing to try. It is a shame, since I have had the opportunity to speak at schools from grade school through college, as well as at professional career seminars, to see how prevalent that attitude has become.

I have never believed in guarantees. After all, none of us can guarantee we will be alive 24 hours from now. But I believe in taking actions that will increase the odds in ones favor, regardless of the hand one has been dealt. That doesn't guarantee anything, but it makes those "lucky" outcomes more likely, or at least improve the odds of getting a little closer to them. And that is the best you can expect from life.

To give up trying, and to put all of your faith in the lottery or the government as your only hope (I'm not anti-government, but it is a human construct and just as fallible for complete reliability) - that is the danger I see when "luck" is emphasized.
+1. There is luck in life, especially when it comes to mental and physical disabilities. Outside of that, success in life is accumulation of choices made every day. Profession, industry, company, and relationships. In my family, lots of people complain about money, but choose to watch hours of cable television when they could be working or bettering themselves through study.
__________________
chasesfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #49
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
photoguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
In a some what related study from UC Berkeley -

"In a Monopoly game rigged to give a randomly selected player extra starting cash and dice rolls, the player who had that advantage was more likely to say he deserved to win based on his skills (rather than his luck in a coin toss at the start)."

The game was rigged so that the player losing the coin toss had no way of ever winning.
Fascinating. Thanks for posting. (FYI you can find the author's paper here http://media.wix.com/ugd//80ea24_edd...6aee3dfa35.pdf ).
__________________
photoguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 07:53 PM   #50
Recycles dryer sheets
chasesfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by photoguy View Post

Fascinating. Thanks for posting. (FYI you can find the author's paper here http://media.wix.com/ugd//80ea24_edd...6aee3dfa35.pdf ).
I think the study's premise is flawed, unless its trying to prove people have egos. Life is not about a game involving rolling dice.
__________________
chasesfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 08:07 PM   #51
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
I attributed my ER success as
1/3 pure luck, born smart, and right time, right place.
1/3 Earned luck: Worked to get my lottery tickets (aka stock options) but being at Intel as opposed a bunch of other companies.
1/3 Skill and judgement.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 08:12 PM   #52
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
I attributed my ER success as
1/3 pure luck, born smart, and right time, right place.
1/3 Earned luck: Worked to get my lottery tickets (aka stock options) but being at Intel as opposed a bunch of other companies.
1/3 Skill and judgement.
That seems about right for the average person, whether that's the allocation of good luck or bad luck :P
__________________
Arifriekinel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2013, 02:32 PM   #53
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: San Jose
Posts: 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
In a some what related study from UC Berkeley -

"In a Monopoly game rigged to give a randomly selected player extra starting cash and dice rolls, the player who had that advantage was more likely to say he deserved to win based on his skills (rather than his luck in a coin toss at the start)."

The game was rigged so that the player losing the coin toss had no way of ever winning.
Reminds me of the TED talk about the monkey inequality experiment:
__________________
LoneAspen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2013, 04:45 PM   #54
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneAspen View Post

Reminds me of the TED talk about the monkey inequality experiment:
Hmmm...

When humans see the capuchin monkeys receiving unequal pay, and the one getting cucumbers instead of grapes protests, the humans laugh.

When humans see other humans getting unequal pay, and the poorly paid humans protesting, then the human observers rationalize why this is a good thing.

Understanding is a three-edged sword.
__________________

__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:08 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.