Week 35 Monday Motivation
Piute County School District,
Every Financial Literacy student receives a copy of “The Richest Man In Babylon.” The book is a collection of financial parables. All of the stories use the setting of ancient Babylon. The idea of the book is that the principles that governed the acquisition of wealth thousands of years ago are the same today. As we have celebrated our many academic and athletic student successes this year I have heard a couple times “how lucky” or “how fortunate” we have been. It has made me think about one of the lessons from this book.
One of the chapters in “The Richest Man In Babylon” is titled “Meet The Goddess of Good Luck.” Students enjoy discussing things like gambling and lotteries when discussing financial luck. I ask how many wealthy people they know of who became wealthy based strictly on luck, there is little or no response. Then I ask how many people they know of who became wealthy based on their preparation and their work, many more responses. As a class, we identify times when wealthy people were lucky, but in every such instance the wealthy example had put themselves in a position to receive the good fortune.
To illustrate the difference between luck resulting strictly from chance and luck resulting from preparation and work, I use a comparison. A two year study of internet gambling revealed that less than 11% percent of internet gamblers made more money than they lost. Of those that made money they averaged less than $150 in winnings. Only seven out of thousands earned more than $5,000. In contrast, the average career earnings return on investment for most bachelor's degrees in the millions of dollars. If gambling is just playing a game of chance, which odds do you like better; the game where the house always wins, or the game where the student rarely loses. Your odds are infinitely better with acquiring as many skills and as much knowledge as you can.
The chapter comes back frequently to the concept of lucky people being prepared to recognize and take opportunities. I explain that the greatest opportunity we are given is time. Every day we choose how to invest it and we hope for big returns on our investment. School is an opportunity and those that invest their time there wisely will reap good fortune. The chapter ends with “Men of action are favored by the goddess of good luck.” Those that use their time to recognize and take opportunities are those favored with good fortune.
If our student successes this year are indeed luck, it is luck resulting from quality preparation. Preparation in the classroom, in the home, in the gym, and on the field. Thank you for your preparation for good fortune.
Wishing good fortune for you in week 35,
“Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring those who do not depend on it.”
George S. Clason