Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wishing your way to success

Yet another season of greetings have passed us by. I have been bombarded with new year wishes by SMS, orkut scraps and email messages. With the availability of simple and fast systems such as these the effort required to send a greeting has been brought down to almost nothing. But have you for a moment stopped and thought about the objective (if any) behind wishing somebody else and actual results (if any) of such wishes?

If wishes were to directly influence the possibility of whatever is being wished for, then the laws of probabilities would have to be redefined to handle these external biases. Events would happen or not happen based on the number of people wishing for that event. So it is quite rational to conclude that wishing does not directly influence the possibility of the outcome wished for. Otherwise I could have just stopped doing any work sit back and just start wishing for things I need or just ask a lot of people to wish me those things that I desire.

If that is not the case then what is the effect of wishing? When somebody wishes another person luck or wishes him good, the recipient gets a positive boost to his state of mind and this should in turn motivate him to work harder to get what was wished for or to stop worrying about not getting what was wished for. These factors should effectively increase the probability of him/her getting what was being wished for.

A corollary would be when the person does not get any good wishes or when he gets cursed upon by others he would loose his morale and thereby decrease his chance of achieving the objective under consideration. A simple example would be where you have a higher probability of making a mistake about which you have been warned, which in turn had your mind thinking about the probability of your failure in the given task.

However there is a small catch here. Suppose the recipient is not really affected psychologically by the wishes then the dependency of the probability of success or failure on the wishes is removed. This might look as a negative impact but in fact this gives the person more control over the probability of success or failure in the task at hand. The moment the person identifies that it does not matter what others say and, that what matters is only how he/she performs, he/she can focus his/her energies and efforts on the task and in turn should be able to have a higher average control over the probabilities than otherwise.

So wishes and curses do matter if you allow them to do so and if otherwise they would not matter. In addition, you should not let them do so, to have a more predictable outcome for your tasks/events in your life or in other words to have a higher control over the probabilities of successes for your tasks.


  1. ably the background of the blessings of the elders when we salute them traditionally like " Dheergayushman bhava" or " Mangalam undagatte". Once we receive them from the elders we respect, the motivating force kicks in making us take the effort to achieve the desired goal we have in mind. I do agree that in order to have a controlled seeking of one's own goal, one should not allow it to influence the mindscape.

  2. Yes it must be understood that it is the motivating force that is increasing your chances of success or failure rather than the wish or the blessings themselves. Also I think there is another indirect influence of blessings in that there is an increase of good will towards you among the people you know and this could help you in your endeavor.

  3. Along the same lines:

  4. @The Pupil
    Absolutely. As simple as that :-)