The Surest Thing

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The Lottery. One of societies most interesting perplexities. Most people outwardly mock and disparage individuals who participate in it, but somebody has to be buying all those Power Ball tickets.

In some ways The Lottery represents one of mankind’s greatest flaws: the thinking that one stroke of luck can cure all ills. This is not only untrue, it can be dangerous.

I’ve heard The Lotto described as a tax on the mathematically challenged, reason being the odds are astronomically against you. I’d imagine that most lotto players don’t really expect to win, but do it out of habit. But the mentality of “seizing that one moment” has gone beyond the convenient store.

In this day and age, it would seem that many folks are waiting for their time to shine. More than a few “entrepreneurs” are looking for nothing more than a M&A (merger and acquisition) opportunity. The proliferation of reality TV competitions and contests, frivolous lawsuits, and much of social media support the notion that your average person expects the “come-up” or moment of adulation and praise. Success has gone from a goal to an expectation, even an entitlement.

The let down is inevitable because this train of thought is insincere. Most people who have accomplished notable things did so out of their own hard work and determination. Even when it seems the opposite, closer inspection will reveal the perseverance and determination which lead to eventual triumph. “Making it Big” is a function of how much an individual wants it, and is willing to make it happen. To think otherwise is self-deceiving.

One of the side effects of the “seize that one moment” mentality is a generation of people who are suffering because their opportunity hasn’t yet come. They have been taught to expect easy wins with little effort. It is sad to speak to members of this group because they embraced “what their itching ears wanted to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3). It is unwise to believe it is possible to succeed in any sense of the word, without expending some measure effort. From the beginning of time, History teaches that nothing comes easy.

So what to make of this? Bet on yourself. Find out what brings you the most joy and go for it, full tilt. It’s the closest to a sure thing there is.

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