The mobile service provider I use, once a month, you get to participate in two lucky draws. You spin this electronic wheel and every time you spin it, you think, “This time! I’m going to be lucky this time!”
For some reason, I always pretty much end up with the same lousy, negligible win.
There are seven options on this Wheel of Fortune. So technically, the likelihood of me landing the top prize should be one out of seven. But the game is designed such that the probability is not 1 in 7. The rarity with which you’ll hit that jackpot is so small that it doesn’t matter how long you play or how many times you play; you seem to always get the same lousy gift at the end.
But you’re still playing cause it’s better to play than not play–even if the gift is lousy. It’s a token of some sort; but you are still getting a gift by playing it, even if it is one you will never need or use.
It got me to thinking about this whole idea surrounding the Wheel of Fortune. When we think of fortune seekers, they’re playing this game in the hopes that they will find their fortune. They’re spinning the wheel to see what happens. Unlike a lucky draw, where there is a definitive prize at the end or lack thereof; with life, a lot of times, the journey itself is the lot of fortune that is allotted to us.
Just yesterday, somebody asked me, “What does wealth look like to you?”
When we’re on a journey through life, it’s not like spinning a wheel and trying to get a prize or a winning. The journey that we are on has certain gifts and challenges for us. You win some, you lose some. But it’s deeper than that. When you lose in life, you do get a chance to try it again and do it again.
When I was teacher, I learned that when you’re trying to teach someone something, and sometimes, no matter what you do, they’re not getting it. You would just keep repeating the lesson till they got it. You would try different methods and approaches, but somehow, all your efforts failed.
I would wonder why they weren’t getting it. Sometimes they just weren’t paying attention. They couldn’t be bothered. Sometimes it was that they were having certain personal difficulties. Something was interfering with their ability to learn.
This is where the Wheel of Fortune slows down. If you’re trying to learn a lesson in your life and you’re trying to make it past a stage, you’re going to have to keep trying till you do.
The one thing I noticed about the Wheel of Fortune approach versus a brick-by-brick approach, is that there are moments in your life where the Wheel of Fortune is moving slowly and there are moments where there is quick and swift upward momentum. Things are not moving up or down in an even way. It’s not really that we are stuck. When you play Lego, on the other hand, you have to do things one step at a time.
Wheel of Fortune energy is all about the swift downward momentums, and the quick upturns. It is unpredictable. At the same time, it really isn’t. Anyone who’s ever been involved in the stock market and who has been in that cycle where there is up, down, buy, sell, bear and bull: there are phases where the market is exuberant and phases where there is a lull.
It resembles the waves of the ocean: sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. Sometimes you’re sinking and sometimes you’re coasting. It may appear to be that there isn’t a logic to the way the market is actually working. The market is not irrational. Neither is it fuelled by emotion alone. Emotion itself has a logical pattern. By this I mean that when people are very optimistic, prices inflate. When people get pessimistic… People’s changeable emotions are, indeed, predictable. Most people have a personal cycle.
In either case, there’re a lot of different factors that need to be taken into account.
There are certain stocks and companies that focus on their public image, persona and appeal. It creates an impression in a person’s mind on whether business is good or not. This part is customer-centric and customer-focused. It’s not revealing what’s actually happening on the inside.
But people who are analysts and who are studying the fundamentals, they know how an enterprise is actually fairing in the context of the overall market. They would have a very different image in their mind on how the company is faring. They’re looking at ‘the facts’ to draw their conclusions. They’re not interested in the public image.
Coming back to the idea of Wheel of Fortune, I’ve been playing this game with my mobile service provider and I still haven’t won the big prize. I’m just getting the lousy gifts. I still play because I want to win the big prize.
If we’re talking about key lessons, we should be playing to win and we do play to win. But when we don’t win, we shouldn’t really feel discouraged. It really could have been you this time. Except the probability was not one in seven. It was more like one in one million–that you would be the one to experience such a large and momentous ascent.
If you happen to be that person, then that’s great. But if you didn’t, it’s not game over, you know. You can just keep playing. Maybe one day, it’ll be you. The whole idea behind the Wheel of Fortune approach is that it’s not really how hard you work, or how much effort you put in or not put in; a lot of it is about the probability factor.
The person who wins is not the brightest, the smartest, the most beautiful blah blah blah. The person who sometimes wins is because of the odds. For some reason, the Gods were smiling down on this person and the odds were in their favour… till they were not. But that’s another story for another day.