Today is Friday the 13th and I would be remiss if I did not mention the concept of luck in an “L-themed” post written as part of an A to Z challenge on such a date. The topic decision was a tough one as it always is for me; there is so much to write about in the world, so I am bending topic to include other L – topics such as list-making, a legal topic: the Ledbetter Act, and labeling.
I’m not a superstitious person, but neither am I one to dismiss patterns and the ability of intention and visualization to dramatically shape outcomes.
Luck does seem to exist to some degree. Especially in the sense of the luck of the draw. Opportunity to which a person is apt to be exposed in life is constrained by the family into which a person is born. America as the land of opportunity is a nice concept, but there is a class structure that limits and/or enables the course of one’s life onward from the day a person is born. According to the most current edition of a classic sociological text that has been referenced for decades, Who Rules America? Challenges to Corporate and Class Dominance the answer to who rules (not governs) America is “The owners and managers of large income-producing properties; i.e., corporations, banks, and agri-businesses. But they have plenty of help from the managers and experts they hire.” More than anything else this is what shapes your economic, and thus in our world, your class future, because networks are everything and the network into which you are born is likely to be the class in which you will spend all your life. I mean, really, would Paris Hilton run in the shee-shee circles she does if she had been born in a trailer in
All that said, I do believe in the power of practice, and visualization is practice that your brain cannot really distinguish from reality. Research shows that the physiological response a la neural path activation is very similar for thinking about practicing a sport and actual practice. Positive visualization figures into the equation too in creating and maintaining positive emotional frames. The whole “Law of Attraction “thing” is a bit too “woo-woo” for me, but I do believe many of the practices involved in the area of intention do help bring about the change that you want to see. Wishful thinking isn’t magic, it seems to “just” (and this “just” is a huge thing) increase the likelihood that you are practicing skills in your head that you will need in the intended situation, desensitizing yourself to anxiety that might be felt in a new situation because of perceived familiarity with the situation gained through imaginary practice, and activating the unconscious processing of information that relates to the intended situation when initial thought is given to the situation or outcome. Finding a zone of competence does exist.
In some ways I also wonder if list making doesn’t serve as a type of visualization? Similarly, labeling actions, categorizing tasks, and being a little bit analytical may also allow for a bit of pre-processing that functions similarly to visualization or mental rehearsal.
But without the triple whammy of adding legal changes that support equality in access to education, pay, and infrastructural support for family functions in society there will be class distinctions and they will reinforce themselves over time. So I think the real L word of this piece is “logic.”
We women need to push for equality in the law, so that our children have level social, geographic, and economic playing fields. Then within a fair system the sky would be the limit with the wonders of visualization, luck, and preparedness also working for us.