A little thought can make all the difference

Luck and Lottery – Part 2

At the end of the Part 1 post, I proposed a couple of acronyms:

  • Lottery – Highly Improbable Favorable Outcome (HIFO), I have to consciously decide to buy the ticket.
  • Safety – Highly Improbable Disastrous Outcome (HIDO), I consciously and unconsciously buy tickets.

The basic idea I am working from here is that to win the lottery, you need to buy a ticket, and in our daily lives injury can result through conscious and unconscious events that compromise our safety.

So, imagine that one day my wife calls me and says: “Did you bet our numbers yesterday like I asked? They were drawn!”  And  of course I did. I pull the ticket from my pocket and yes indeed I had the ticket, and there were “our numbers”.  5, 8, 9, 16, 22, 24.  I read them to her. Silence on the other end.  Then this – “Did you say 24?”  “Right,” I say, “because our anniversary is August 24th.”  Silence again. Then she reminds me that our anniversary was the 23rd of August.  Uh-oh.

Notice I said that my wife called me. If this story were true, I would probably be saying “My ex-wife called me”. So this didn’t happen.

But if it did, do you think I could go to the lottery office with our birth and marriage certificates and explain what numbers I MEANT to bet?  I’m sure they would immediately understand and grant me the prize, right? No, they would grant me the prize for 5 out of 6 numbers, and leave it to me to explain why we didn’t get the jackpot.

If I could have that moment at the counter over again, would I think twice about the dates and get it right next time? Certainly, especially if I knew it would be the difference between jackpot and second place.

And when I get hurt because I didn’t take the right precautions, I would wish to live that moment over again too. I would want to take bad luck and turn it into good luck. Turn my HIDO into a BPSO (Best Possible Safe Outcome.

In Part 3 next week, I’ll tie this all together.

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