The Wheel Of Fortune

Why haven’t you gotten your big break? How come, after all the effort you have put into your craft, are you not seeing the results you expect?

Maybe The Wheel Of Fortune isn’t turning in your favor.

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

The Wheel

In ancient beliefs and tenets, the wheel of fortune symbolized Fate’s arbitrary and random nature. Greek religion considered Tyche the goddess of Fate. The Romans later called her Fortuna, a daughter of Zeus.

Fortuna spins the wheel of fortune, which will reveal either good or bad luck. Fortune is not concerned with our frame of mind and efforts; there is no justice in how the wheel spins. Fortuna had the power to control the fragile lives of humans. She could bring happiness and wealth or destroy a person’s life.

There is some truth to the wheel of fortune. The circumstances of our lives vary considerably from one person to another. How many people do you know are dealt an awful deck of cards?

As artists, we all know people who should have been recognized for their talents but haven’t achieved notoriety. Some of those individuals have worked their asses off, yet success is fleeting. Some folks are born into tragedy, others with the silver spoon.

There are no guarantees.

Some Thoughts About Business Ownership

I have friends who are business owners. They work extremely hard; a fourteen-hour workday is not unusual. The responsibilities of owning a brick-and-mortar business are tremendous. There are all sorts of bureaucratic hoops they have to jump through. Many of them have unreliable employees. The odds are against the sustained success of their endeavors.

Some Statistics Of Small Business

The Small Business administration (SBA) defines a small business as having fewer than five hundred employees. That defines my business.

Small business is integral to the U.S. economy. Almost all businesses in the United States are small businesses. By the tenth year of operation, 70% percent of small businesses will fail.

You Might Have Some Things Going Against You

Do you understand how the wheel of fortune spins? Remember, each set of circumstances is particular to that situation. The variables you encounter may be different from those of someone else.

The Gambler’s Fallacy

Gambler’s Fallacy is an incorrect belief that specific results will occur given a precursory series of events. 

Take the example of a Roulette table: If the Roulette wheel hits four blacks in a row, that doesn’t mean the next spin will land on red. Each spin of the wheel is an independent event and how it lands has no bearing on previous spins. This is also known as the Law of Independent Chances.

Just because I do a specific succession of efforts doesn’t mean I will get the expected results. This is erroneous thinking.

Survival Bias And The Examples of Success

Through the years, I’ve read a ton of self-help books, from the classics of financial success to tomes on psychology. I am looking for the wheel of fortune to spin positive outcomes.

The point of all that reading was, and still is, to learn from those who have gone before. The development of a person’s mindset is imperative. Life is full of pitfalls, obstacles, and travails. We aren’t interested in how someone succeeded at failure.

Searching through sources of success, focusing on people who jumped the hurtles, who quit Harvard and built that billion-dollar company, who used their garage to create that one invention, can lead a person to questionable conclusions.

You must remember that the people we follow and those who have great success in their endeavors; their perspective is a form of survival bias. They are the survivors, the ones who beat the odds.

Dropping out of Harvard to build your empire is one example of how to develop a business. Is that a template for success? How many others have dropped out of university to pursue their quest? Some people have quit their jobs, ended relationships, and burnt bridges to follow their dreams? How many succeeded?

This is important; you must understand the odds you are working against.

Availability Bias And How People Succeed

We are all looking for examples of success. The idea is: if I do what so-and-so did, I will be a success. The concept is fantastic but is it based on information representing your situation?

What sources of data are you using to make your judgments? Are your sources of information readily at hand, or are they indicative of your circumstances?

We too often use the most available resources in making decisions and executing a course of action. This type of thinking can help you make short-term decisions. You need to ask yourself – what are the long-term outcomes of considerations like this? Is the data you are relying upon relevant to your quandary?

All those podcasts you listen to, the books you read, the people you follow on Twitter and Facebook, and those whose success you want to copy are the survivors.

Understand the odds you are up against.

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Why “They” Don’t Succeed

The intent of this post is not to be negative. I want you not to have any illusions about your chances for success as the world sees it.

Your passion and commitment to loving what you are doing will carry you through. In the end, the fire that burns in you may be the only thing which motivates you.

With that said, here is a list of reasons why your success hangs at bay.

Taking Responsibility

When you hit home runs, you will strike out a lot. If you don’t swing the bat, what are your chances of hitting the ball over the fences? Some people, for whatever reason, don’t attempt to swing. They do not take responsibility for rising to the occasion; they won’t step up to the plate. Success is when opportunity and preparedness meet.


They might not have gotten that break because of the way they have spent their time and energy. Did their efforts align with their goals? Time is the great equalizer; eventually, we all will run out. Face it; some people make better use of their allotted amount than others.


They might be apathetic. Perhaps their initial excitement and interest have left them. The enthusiasm and interest needed to hit those goals do not any longer ignite a fire.


They create self-imposed limitations by putting limits on what is achievable. Many times the constraints they have created are arbitrary.

Some examples:

I’m not good enough.

The work is too hard.

I don’t deserve this.

There’s never enough time.

I don’t have the abilities of others.

Ad nauseam.


They are prone to making excuses. There is the feeling that things are out of control when they are not. They aren’t listening to their inner-self. Their intuitions tell them they can do it, but they won’t listen. People avoid addressing situations they know they can handle. They know their decisions can be managed with patience and a game plan, but they won’t do it. They won’t have a conversation with themselves that will put things into perspective.


Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. These folks confuse self-regulated and intentional delay with procrastination. Working with deadlines can indeed increase productivity. Putting off projects by screening through your smartphone is an excuse to stay away from productive work.

We all procrastinate in different ways. Sidetracking oneself can become habitual and ingrained into your personality, never getting essential tasks accomplished by always being sidetracked.


They do not welcome adversity. It becomes too difficult to embrace encumbrances and the potential growth from challenges. It is best to avoid pain and not deal with the obstacle.

They are afraid to make bold moves. They are unwilling to let go of the fear of failure and disappointment. The thought of making bold decisions is beyond them.

They don’t trust in positive outcomes because they don’t trust themselves. They do not trust that their undertakings will have a positive result, thereby being unwilling to commit to achieving their goals.

They will not develop habits and expertise that will support personal development. Theirs is a battle between a growth mindset against a fixed mindset. They believe their skill and aptitudes are set in stone and cannot develop further.

They do not foster a sense of purpose, shunning social support which would create resiliency in their purpose.

They remain obtuse to their emotions and those around them. They are not accepting of self-regulation and self-awareness as the foundations of emotional intelligence.

Learning And Adapting

They are unwilling to expand their viewpoint and embrace becoming a long-term learner. Life is hard, and things go wrong, but they aren’t willing to accept these facts and avoid dealing with the repercussions.

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How Can We Affect The Wheel Of Fortune?

Are things not going the way you want? Weird, right?

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves and redirect how we think.

How About Those Expectations?

I live by this – whatever I am looking for, I will find it. If it’s adversity, it will come; likewise, opportunity.

You may or may not have heard of the Law Of Attraction. It is the notion that thoughts are a form of energy and that energy attracts both positive and negative into our lives.

I suppose it depends on what you believe (the tongue-in-cheek comment is intentional). Depending on whom you talk to, The Law Of Attraction is evidence-based or a pseudoscience. I define the law as not necessarily the circumstances we have a vision for but what our hearts and minds believe we deserve.

I know people with confrontational and adversarial mindsets who attract adversity. On the other hand, others believe they deserve positive outcomes in their lives, and that’s what they get.

Fortuna is going to bring positive and negative into our lives. What effects will those outcomes manifest, and what will our attitude be? How are we going to deal with those circumstances?

Do You Love what You Do?

I love music, the recording studio, writing, composition, video production, practice, and rehearsal. I have a passion for all of it. Since I was a young child, there has been a vision for music. There is an adage I follow: I would do it whether there is money in it or not.

Music and writing have gone full circle; I am more committed than ever. I have gone through seasons where I would put the whole thing down. There were pursuits of career, the hope of romantic fulfillment, and listening to advice from those who did not understand me.

I have a ton of success behind me and more ahead. More than anything, it is the process that is the thrill. The daily accomplishments fuel my adrenal gland. What I am hammering away at today is creating the flow of endorphins to my brain. Please give me more.

It is the love of my craft that sustains me. Fortuna, spin that Wheel Of Fortune.

What Do Your Goals Look Like?

It is said you should create a vision so large that it is frightening, then pursue it. You are going to have to implement some goals to achieve that vision. The best suggestion I have heard is to work backward from the ultimate place you see the fulfillment of your success. Then you know what path you need to follow.

One of my paths to personal success is to finish my current book. The process requires additional effort, but the result will be much more positive. Though it will take more time, I am producing the accompanying audiobook.

Some major roadblocks popped up. At first, I experienced a lot of dismay and disappointment. How could this situation have a more positive outcome? I needed to think through how to make the circumstances satisfactory.

Finishing a forty thousand word audio book is going to take many recording sessions. The person doing the voice-overs is on a limited-time schedule. We can only do this in small steps.

Fortunately for me, I have a recording studio. The studio required learning new skill sets. That was part of the plan years ago: to offset music production costs. My most significant expenditure now is time. The wheel of fortune is working for me.

All my accomplishments have happened by putting one foot in front of another. All the larger goals have occurred because of the implementation of smaller objectives. My dreams have expanded.

Are You A Quitter?

My best advice is don’t give up. Most people let their dreams die. Maintaining your vision requires a degree of discipline.

Reaching your goals is going to be challenging. Don’t let the difficulty overwhelm you.

The rewards of your efforts may not come quickly. There are going to be obstacles and delays; accept them.

Tedium is the enemy of consistency. Maintaining discipline requires repetition. Find ways to alleviate the boredom. A systematic process builds success upon success. Learn to embrace methodology.

There are basic success principles that apply to every field of endeavor. Don’t listen to the advice of those who have not gone before you. If you adhere to a person’s guidance, make sure they have a track record.

Life happens. There are all sorts of distractions. Make sure your vision is larger than the diversions which cross your path.

There is more than one way to achieve your goals. Make sure you are open to the alternatives that come your way. Don’t give up on the possibilities before you.

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Are We Embracing Failure?

There are several things I can brag about – failure is one of them. Not only have I failed in romantic relationships, but my list of artistic failures is also long. I can’t count how many bands I have played in, the number of times I have worked with the wrong people, and how many people I have let use me.

Failure allows me to look at the data.

Here are some questions I ask myself:

Do I fear success? What things about succeeding am I avoiding?

Am I afraid of attaining more accomplishments?

Is there worry about the consequences of my success?

How can I use time to my advantage?

Am I comfortable with the status quo?

How can I adapt my mindset?

How adverse am I to risk?

My failures were my fault, sometimes not, and at others, a combination of many factors.

I know, beyond a doubt, that I will keep on failing till Wheel Of Fortune smiles on my endeavors. Success is when preparedness and opportunity meet.

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