Mar

8

Hoo-Doos, from Scott Brooks

March 8, 2010 |

Robert Todd Lincoln by Matthew BradyThe ultimate hoo-doo is the fictional Schlep-rock from the Flintstones. But I came across an interesting tidbit of information that I think bumps Schlep-rock out of the top hoo-doo spot:

Abraham Lincoln's eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was on the scene of three separate presidential assassinations. He was summoned to his father's side after his father was mortally wounded at Ford's Theatre in 1865. He was also in the train station where President Garfield was shot. And Robert was invited to an event by William McKinley and, at that occasion, McKinley was assassinated. Tragedy followed Robert wherever he went (From All-Pro Dad's daily email service)

What is it about people that seem to attract unfortune? I have known many people in my life that just can't seem to get it together. For some reason, "bad luck" and problems follow them wherever they go. Whether these hoodoo's are of great ability or average ability, or possess very little ability, they all seem to have one major overarching trait in common:

They have an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Having grown up in lower middle class semi-rough neighborhood, I saw this behavior all the time…and it was a lot more prelevent than one would think. Whether it was outright self destructive behavior (like Matt Damon's character in Good Will Hunting), or whether it was more subtle methods to ensure that they would never break through their self imposed glass ceiling, the behaviour was always there.

What is it about these people that just can't seem to get it together? Is it genetic?

Each of these hoodoo's seem to lack it – that intangible characteristic that is inherent in ever successful person, the characteristic of not seeing defeat as a stopping place, but as a learning experience. The characteristic of not being phased by no (as in, "No, I don't want your service"). The characteristic of seeing life as continuous journey, a constant progression – not a destination.

What is it that seperates these people? And, no, it's not a list of things like The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. Most everyone knows what it takes to be successful, but they still sit on their butts and do nothing about it, or worse yet, do the opposite. What goes on in these people's minds?


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  1. Steve Leslie on March 11, 2010 10:02 am

    How does one explain the successes of Edison, Fermi, Pasteur? How does one describe the genius of Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky? The athleticism of Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, Michael Jordan, Lebron James. The vision of Spielberg, Gates, Ted Turner? Having lived now half a century I have come to the conclusion that one cannot. These figures exits. They are outliers and they were created for a purpose. Chosen if you will, by God before birth for a special mission. These are the ones who have a chosen destiny. The rest of us find ourselves somewhere in the middle. We can approach the outer limits through education, hard work, dedication and a host of other controllable variables. This will extend us to the upper pantheon but we will not reach the pinnacle. It is the injustice of life perhaps. At the other extreme, there are those who will seemingly never taste true victory. Try as they might, they will not experience much success in life. The Joe Bfstlk, the Ralph Kramden, The Mush(from the movie the Bronx Tale). They abound either fairly or unfairly in life. It can be very dangerous associating with these unexplainable "bad luck" people. My best recipe for success in life is to work as if everything depended on you and that you were totally accountable for your own actions. Pray as if everything depended on the love of God. Search tirelessly for the one mentor who may show you the way to shorten this path and make your journey that much easier.

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