Lucky Sperm Club

#luckysperm

“The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion; I create nothing. I own.”Gordon GeckoWall Street

I have empathy and affinity for those trying to figure out the mysteries. Recently several of these brave intellectuals have called to tell me about a new hypothesis being discussed these days. It’s called “The New Physics”.

They believe at the center of this philosophy is the notion that anything we think we can do; that just by the power of positive thinking we can achieve any desire, master any discipline. They liken this mind over matter idea to quantum mechanics; a branch of physics describing the behavior of energy and matter at the atomic and subatomic levels.

This sounds a lot more like hope than truth and perhaps they’ve misconstrued the conclusion but it’s also inaccurate to think that this axiom is anything new. A more accurate description of the so-called new physics is the concept that anything we think we will eventually do; but this doesn’t mean we are qualified to do it.

An example on the macro level: We looked at the moon and thought that someday we’d go there and then we did. But it took a couple of decades for us to be qualified to go. An example on the micro level: We see everything we do before we do it; pick up a glass of water and you’ll realize that you saw yourself doing it a nano second before you actually did it.

The brilliant twit Malcolm Gladwell, in his best-selling book; “Outliers” The Story of Success, among many grand revelations about why some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impact lives while so many more never reach their potential, he challenges our cherished belief of the self-made man. He makes the democratic assertion that superstars don’t arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: but that they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.

Warren Buffet subscribes to this notion and has consistently emphasized the role of chance in getting rich. “A member of the lucky sperm club” as he described himself to Charlie Rose. He happened to be born in the right country, to the right parents, at precisely the right moment, to absurdly reward his special talent at asset allocation. Warren’s a rare bird. Few successful businessmen truly believe they owe their rewards to luck. Nothing makes a mammal more delusional than money.

Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, Gladwell builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky. He also asserts that it takes twenty years to become really good or great at anything and anyone who’s gotten good or great at anything will likely agree with this hypothesis.

It’s a theory I happen to agree with as well. I met hundreds of salesmen over the years but only two maybe three who I considered great and they all had spent a lifetime honing their craft. Salesmanship is the ability to influence the opinion of others through education; an achievement that requires a variety of talents that can only be mastered by doing, over and over again. Yet without the inherent skills and talents for whatever particular quest for productive achievement we select, we may become good at it, but we’ll never be great at it. The talent is in the choice; success comes from focus and repetition.

Yet it is revelatory to acknowledge that success, at art or business or life, is an evolutionary and progressive process. Once we take the first step toward a worthy ideal, once we try, we are already a success. Success and joy result immediately in the journey and never occur at the destination; since the things we have mean less to us than the things we want.

There’s another side to this coin of course; that pesky Buddhist riddle that has driven many a Monk to sit astride a mountain top contemplating his navel; wanting, they muse; is the source of all pain. #newphysics #warrenbuffet #billgates #malcolmgladwell #luckyspermclub

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About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

5 Responses to Lucky Sperm Club

  1. Richard William Posner says:

    This gets very subjective Nick.

    First we’ve got to determine just what “success” means. I think the definition relative to this article is fairly self-evident.

    Well, not everyone is prepared to accept that definition. I fall into that category.

    You say, ” Salesmanship is the ability to influence the opinion of others through education…”.

    That may have once been true. I’d suggest that, 99% of the time, it no longer is. Instead it involves the ability to “market” what your selling, which means deceit, obfuscation, manipulation and outright fraud.

    I do however agree with mr. buffet’s outlook and the neat micro-synopsis of “the lucky sperm club”.

    • circusinpurgatory says:

      Thanks for the comment. In my view, and Dale Carnegie’s;success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Though its easy to succumb to cynicism; given the recent expose’ of the financial worlds dealings, Market is not a dirty word and its been my experience that most people are good and believe they are doing the right thing. The shit-heals get the headlines because they are not the norm and the crowd rightly condemn them. .

      • Richard William Posner says:

        They may “believe” they are doing the right thing. You can put a cat in the oven but that don’t make it a biscuit. So saith the immortal Wesley Snipes in “White Men Can’t Jump”; a riveting docudrama about two entrepreneurs from different worlds, one black, one white, striving together to find success in the cutthroat world of professional sports.

        Market? If you mean like the local farmer’s market or a crafts show or something like that, yeah, it’s not a dirty word. If you’re talking about the allegedly “free” market of capitalist globalisation, I beg to differ.

        I admire your optimism Nick but I can’t share it. The shitheads get the headlines because they’re the ones running the show and being handsomely rewarded for being shitheads and much worse.

        I’ve looked at capitalism upside down, backwards and inside out and I always come to the same conclusion; under no circumstances can the capitalist system be anything but inimical to civil society. It is an economic system designed to create monopoly and plutocracy and the less constrained or unregulated it is, the faster those conditions are achieved.

        Just my opinion.

        Consummatum est

  2. James Mcfarland says:

    A 8.8 rating.

  3. Reblogged this on Nick Masesso, Jr..

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