Don't you hate those quotes that have the cat hanging on the clothes line, or the frog choking the pelican while it's dangling in the bird's mouth ...."Never Give Up." How about the often heard, "Teach a man to fish..."? That one is used enough that people don't even finish the saying, cough-cough parable, anymore.
I'm sure you've had plenty of friends, family, and coworkers that can recite the old sayings but do not seem to have an original thought rattling through their brain. What does an original thought even look like, feel like, sound like? "I'll have it original, please". That doesn't mean much without context, does it?
Being original is nothing but the base product of whatever you'd like. It means you can take an old trick and make it new again, make it a signature, make it a new base. Iced cream was the original cream until vanilla went and stole it's thunder. Damn you Vanilla. But, now vanilla is used as the word for original - without anything extra.
What's this have to do with chance?
Recently, I wrote a poem called 7 billion dreams. It's about a girl who wakes up every morning and goes about her life by stuffing her dreams and her passions; a dichotomy of blandness of humanity vs the elusiveness of dreams becoming reality. She doesn't think she has anything special. And, special cannot exist without both the bland and the improbable. Enter the conflict of a restless dreamer.
When you consider how many people are in the world, I don't blame her. As the poem goes on an unseen observer begs her to stop lying to herself about her worth. The observer tells her that she's stealing her gifts from a world who needs her. You'll have to listen to the song to find out more. Even if the character in this story has a break through and is one of the rare to take a leap...
What are the chances she will be successful?
At this moment the camera reel should freeze, pan the scene, and we should reflect. What is chance anyway? How many absurd sayings talk about chance, and luck, and skill, and talent, and all of that bullshit? We don't need sayings, and we don't need luck - although it helps in some sort of black magic way that we never have enough patience to think about.
If the girl from my poem thinks she has no chance of helping the world, providing a beautiful art, being accepted, the narrator surprises by saying "You're absolutely right, your ambitions aren't new..." And there is no problem with that. Every person see's the world from their eye, and many have the ambition to make a difference - succeeding is the troubling part.
What is the best way to increase the chance for success?
We are so distracted by the overwhelming probability of failure at first attempt that we rarely realize our odds just improved. Try again, keep failing, and keep enjoying each day of your new-found art. Laugh. Be amused by the beauty of why you failed. Try again.
Case Study: What are the chances that any of my blog posts will make a difference? Probably 1 in 10,000. That's a blog a day for 27 years. If everyone in this world shared their thoughts and their dreams and their art as if they had a one-in-ten thousand shot and still pursued it, this world would be a different place.
I pray that everyone could find an art they love enough to fail at for 27 years, and enjoying every day of it. Now go, increase those nasty odds. I'm giving you a hall pass to just do it already! Dig deep and start showing those you love, those in your community, and maybe one day the world.