Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What Spiderman Can Teach You About Luck And Success by Bob Bly

In the movie Spiderman III, Flint Marko a.k.a. the Sandman tells his estranged wife, "I am not a bad person; I've just had bad luck."

Some people may think saying such a thing amounts to little more than making excuses.

But Marko did indeed have bad fortune: his young daughter was seriously ill.

Conversely some motivational speakers and self-help writers say that luck should not be a factor in your life or success, and that you are solely responsible for your life as it is.

And years ago, a high-powered executive in a TV commercial said with disdain when an employee wished him luck in an important meeting: "Luck is for rabbits."

To which I say: horse hooey.

Example: At a National Speakers Association meeting where I was also a speaker, I listened to a motivational speaker who said in his talk, "It's not the road; it's the runner."

The audience clapped in appreciation...except me. I sat stone-faced and offended.

I wanted to tell him, but didn't, that what he said was not true.

The more accurate statement would be: "It IS the road AND the runner."

Despite what positive thinkers tell you, luck is a huge factor determining the quality of your life, though certainly not the sole factor.

And luck, by definition, is beyond your control, which means much of the quality of your life (but not all) is beyond your control.

Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

The remedy is to exert control over those things you can in fact control, one of which is your reaction to your luck, bad or good.

W. Mitchell, Epictetus, and others have said words to the effect that "it's not what happens to you; it's how you handle it."

I disagree. I believe it IS what happens to you AND how you handle it.

If you have bad luck and are not handling it well, the quality of your life will suffer even more.

And maybe you want to seek some help, be it a psychotherapist, anti-depressants, a support group, a coach, or whatever.

But do not blame yourself or punish yourself because you feel you are not coping well.

You are doing the best you can at this time under the circumstances.

I urge you to seek the help I just mentioned so you can gradually do and feel better and better.

By the way, you should ruthlessly prune from your life anyone who criticizes the way you are coping and says they could do better if they were in your shoes.

You know and I know they most likely could not.

Remember, it's easy to criticize. But no one knows what you are facing or how difficult it is to handle unless they have been through the exact same thing. And 99.99% of people have not.

I close by quoting Stephen King from his new novel Mr. Mercedes: "Life is a crap carnival with shit prizes."

Bob Bly is the author of "World's Best Copywriting Secrets" and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him "America's top copywriter".

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