Friday, January 16, 2009

It Is Not Luck!

If you have spent a whole life time cursing your luck for all the bad things that happen to you or around you; or if you have lost faith in the system; or if you have no idea why your projects get delayed - you have come to the right place.

I will not be able to set things right, not give you a solution, but I can sure explain why things go wrong even when you are doing everything right.

But before that let us consider an entirely different scenario. Take a cup of water and drop a blob of ink (or any other dye). The ink disperses and soon the whole water is blue (or red or whatever). Of course you know why that happens. Diffusion. And that happens because of random motion of the molecules. So much is clear. But why diffuse? Randomness could also cause the ink to re-concentrate (imagine seeing the diffusion in a film that is run backwards - can you picture that?). But commonsense tells us that the ink will diffuse it will not come back together again. But that is not entirely correct. The probability of the ink 'un-diffusing' in not zero - except that it is so small that it never ever happens.

So it is with affairs around you. The probability of everything going smooth all the time and as you wish it to happen is not zero. It just so happens that the probability is so tiny that, left on its own, things will go wrong. But there is an essential difference between you and ink.

You can act. You can act to modify the probability in your favour.

Getting late to office because of the random occurrence of vehicles in your path and causing delay? Start earlier. You will still get delayed, but you will reach on time.

Projects get delayed no matter how well you plan? Some random occurrence of an event that you did not take into account manifested? Learn from this. Watch out for such random events. They will still happen. But if you are on a look out, you will be able to take appropriate action.

So it is not about luck. It is all about you trying to consciously modifying probability in your favour.

So next time you wish some one luck, try saying, "Wish you favourable probability." If nothing else I guarantee you raised eye brows.

Oh come on! What is life without such a bit of Idiosyncrasy?

Note: The picture used belongs to Steve Woods (See gallery)

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amiya said...

Too good to resist. Nice articles, all of them. The ink analogy also reminds me of increasing entropy.

AMitabh said...

Amiya, you are dead right. Dispersion increases entropy of the system. Thanks for your comment.

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