Irrational Exuberance!

Success and Dancing Shoes

July 31, 2009.

Sitting on the company shuttle and driving towards a cubicle farm whose atmosphere contains a certain degree of uncertainty, I've been thinking about success.

Success is a contentious issue. Why is that girl successful? Why haven't I been successful? What's the difference between the two of us? How am I going to get my check with a couple commas1? A lot of people are going to tell you the way, and even more are going to sell it to you, but I'm pretty sure I've already discovered what there is to discover.

Success is about getting yourself into position, and then getting lucky.

From there we can discuss the ingredients for getting yourself into position and getting lucky, but it really boils down to that simple two part plan: get into position, get lucky.

Over the last few days I was starting to play up a metaphor in my head: it's time to either start dancing or take off the dancing shoes. The reality is that I'm not one for still feet, and--anyway--busy feet are the only known formula for getting into position.

Over the past two years I've run into several insurmountable obstacles, and I'm continuing to learn that you can always chip away at these problems by doing good work and banding together with good people (there is no distinction between a group's social dynamics and the much scorned politics; if you're an engaged member of a group, you're already involved in its politics).

Good work, good people, and keeping on those dancing shoes. Who knows if you'll get lucky, but if it comes you'll be able to use it.


  1. With full credit to Citizen Cope for the "check with a couple commas" line.