Lotteries and lattices

Photo “Lattice” courtesy of Sam Cox on Flickr

I’ve never won a lottery. Maybe that’s because I’ve never bought a ticket, ever.

The lottery is a state of mind. Many of us try to win the lottery of the mind. I have lost this kind of lottery many times.

The lottery of the mind says it all depends on the lucky break. Get it, and you’re home-free. Don’t get it, and you’re a failure.

Your book, your pitch, your project, your investment.  You look for the big lucky break. But guess what. Big lucky breaks seldom happen in life, so chances are you’re a loser. If you’re playing the lottery of the mind, you know what I’m talking about it.

Sure, some of us will win the lottery, maybe even on the first ticket. And the rest of us? We’ll need lattices.

In the absence of one life-changing event, our lives will be built of many small events.

Not one huge best-seller, or one giant breakthrough, but ten or twenty moderate successes intersecting our many other efforts.

You can build a reliable structure of lattices, but it takes time. No one, individual lathe will suffice. The truth is most people won’t even notice that you’re putting the pieces together. Not until you’ve created the total effect out of a combination and coordination of units.

Play the lottery, and you’ll likely lose every time. You’ll feel your time and energy was wasted. All you’ll see is the prize you never got, and that you’ll probably never get.

Make something of lattices, and every effort—no matter how small—will contribute to the greater end. No work will ever be wasted, and every step will be meaningful.

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