Wishful thinking. Dream, oasis or mirage? However we might like to describe it, we all do it at some time or another. Like stumbling out of a cinema matinee into the stark light of day, it’s a sobering recognition that hits us when we realise that our little bout of escapism is over, for now.
The success of the gambling industry is testimony to our susceptibility to this emotion of desire. The ‘wouldn’t it be nice?’ lure works well for lotteries where every entrant imagines themselves as the winner, the silent lamenting at the loss of hope when the draw is announced being ‘the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper’ (T.S.Eliot). Not that we shouldn’t harbour dreams, hopes or aspirations. Our ability to shape our future by purposeful intention is one of our most powerful attributes and must be nurtured and protected from sabotage, both within and without.
‘The strength to endure that which cannot be changed, the courage to change that which can and the wisdom to know the difference’ (Desiderata) is a maxim that can be applied here. Faith does not need to be blind faith, hope is too valuable to end up being smashed upon the rocks and charity can only be extended when we have something to give.
Putting our hopes and dreams at the whim of external forces whose prime motive is profit is not a good bet and leaches our capacity to take responsibility for our own actions. Perhaps instead of ‘better luck next time’ it should be ‘better not next time’.
The trillions of dollars in gambling revenue represent the collective aspirations of people who wish to hit the jackpot by being ‘lucky’. It was actually Casanova who invented the lottery in 1757 and successfully manufactured his own ‘luck’. He was also ‘lucky’ in love as has been well documented.
If fortune favours the bold, then we need to take a leaf out of Casanova’s book. He also suffered the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune’ but managed to pick himself up every time and look for new opportunities, making the most of what presented itself and putting himself in the picture. Richard Branson took more than a leaf, he’s rewritten the book.
The following short video helps us to understand the part that ‘luck’ played in his success.