In a way one might say that the whole of life is a tissue of prodigious coincidences.
Patrick O’Brian, The Surgeon’s Mate
Luck plays a large role in every story of success; it is almost always easy to identify a small change in a story that would have turned a remarkable achievement into a mediocre outcome.
Danial Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
I am male but the odds were just about equal that I could have been female. Two of my cousins match-made my wife and me. Had she been dating someone at that time, it is unlikely we would be the parents of four wonderful children and happily married for 32 years. The guy drifting over the double yellow line veers right at the last second, avoiding a catastrophic collision. In 1994 by sheer coincidence, I discovered Conexus®, a group decision support system; three years later I launched Prism Decision Systems on the foundation of that tool. Seventeen fulfilling years later, it is hard to imagine that I would be where I am without that bit of serendipity.
On the other hand, we all have friends and know families who have had far more than their share of bad luck.
A key assumption underlying all of Prism’s planning processes is that we can create the future. By articulating a preferred future and then making intentional decisions each day to attain it, we can profoundly shape the course of our lives or organizations. I embrace that as a core belief.
Only sheer hubris, however, would fail to acknowledge the dramatic role of luck — good or bad — in each of our lives.