Effort + Luck = Nothing

Yesterday, I attended a professional development for work. During a breakout activity, my group was answering a question about what we felt was needed in order to be successful at a particular something. We quickly came to the conclusion that nothing or “no thing” was needed, but things are nice to have to supplement success in this area. We then came up with the equation Effort + Luck = Nothing. At first, it seems ludicrous, however, when you evaluate the equation, it reveals how you can make “something” from “nothing”. Nothing – Luck = Effort. Take nothing and take away luck and you’ll be left with only effort. Effort creates something from nothing. Nothing – Effort = Luck. Take nothing and take away effort, and you’ll be left with only luck. Luck creates something where there was once nothing. The equation checks out!

It serves to remind us that what we need is little; what we desire is more. All the experience and knowledge we accumulate is only valuable when it’s used in situations where our egos don’t benefit from putting it to use. When our egos drive our desire to demonstrate how much we know so we may “educate” others – that’s a recipe for failure. It’s a recipe for making assumptions. Math provides a world of correct and incorrect. Life is more gray. We experience situations and learn from them, however, when a similar situation arises but with different people, we can’t plug these new people into old equations, because their experiences and what they bring to the equation are variables.

If we choose to enter into all new situations knowing we’ve been there before, we’ve already made a crucial miscalculation. However, if we choose to enter to into all new situations knowing we know nothing (yet) about them, our experiences and knowledge along with our ignorance can serve to help us gain understanding as a means of being more open to finding solutions – to finding success.

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Aspiring Stoic and Doting Father

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