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What will you do?

  1. Nov 22, 2006 #1
    Suppose you are granted a wish like'

    you will achieve success in whatever big you want to do...i mean sort of things like achieving huge success in research or a thing which is for common good of most of people but requires a great effort from you and you will be finally be able to do it....


    no one in this world will come to know....that you have done it!!

    Will you do it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2006 #2
    So if we do no work at all then we aren't guaranteed success? That's a lame wish. People success through 'great effort' all the time, that is nothing special.
  4. Nov 22, 2006 #3
    Who the hell cares as long as I get paid!
  5. Nov 22, 2006 #4


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    Sure - why not? My self-satisfaction has nothing to do with who knows about my accomplishments. I am simply satisfied to be successful.
  6. Nov 22, 2006 #5


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    Definitely... as long as I'm still able to earn a living somehow. After all, I'm paying for the privilege of being on this site primarily because of the sheer joy that I feel when I can occassionally help someone. Only a handful of others here know who I really am, and I intend to keep it that way.
  7. Nov 22, 2006 #6


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    I'm in absolute need of such a supernatural wish fulfillment if I am to be able to read through "Remembrance of Things Past" a second time
  8. Nov 22, 2006 #7

    you are so true but may be you are yet to find examples who fail despite great efforts.
    Result is never in your hands or is it?
  9. Nov 22, 2006 #8


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    Totally. It doesn't matter if I got credit or not, just let me do it to help humanity.
  10. Nov 22, 2006 #9


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    Perhaps a more accurate wording is "Result is never completely in your hands .... ". Great efforts always increase your odds of succeeding, even if they don't guarantee it.

    Lots of people have failed despite great efforts. Sometimes it's bad luck (or lack of foresight). The constellation of Iridium communication satellites is one example. It was a good idea that was achieved, but during the time they were launching over 60 satellites, the world changed. Ground based cell phone networks sprung up pushing Iridium out of the market before they ever got on line. (A great effort upstaged by someone else's great effort).

    Sometimes it's because the task was so hard success was unlikely no matter how much effort was given. Those people who stand on the sideline commenting that the task is impossible? You can surprise them a lot of times, but they're not always wrong. Bush's vision of democracy in Iraq might be one such example?
  11. Nov 22, 2006 #10


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    Not to obsess, but I just remembered a piece by (edit)Frank DeFord on NPR this morning about sports movies. In response to the possibility of Sylvester Stallone doing yet another 'Rocky' movie (over 30 years after the first), DeFord spoofed the typical sports movie, including the 'typical' ending: great effort overcomes all odds to achieve victory.

    Only one problem - Rocky Balboa lost in the first Rocky movie. In fact, in the best other sports movie from that era, The Bad News Bears, the Bears made it to the championship game and ..... lost. In the best recent sports movie, Million Dollar Baby, Maggie ...... lost. In the other two good sports movies I can remember, Bull Durham and Eight Men Out, winning and losing didn't even play a prominent role in the movie.

    DeFord missed the essence of a good sports movie - it's not the victory or defeat in the game itself - it's a person's struggle to achieve something wholly internal to themselves .... and that's a result that is almost always in a person's hands.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2006
  12. Nov 22, 2006 #11
    I've already done something along those lines. It's not worth it overall, although I find I truly don't sweat the little stuff anymore.

    As I expressed it in my last job interview (the one with my current employer), "When it comes to justifying my continued existence, I'm already all paid up. Anything from here on out is pure gravy."

    Would I trade the decade and the career that I lost for that same equanimity if I had it to do all over again? No.

    There's other costs as well. The hardest part is trying to fit back into "normal" life once you no longer have an overriding goal like that.
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