Friday, January 13, 2012

Lucky 13 and the Spelling Bee



I used to think 13 was my lucky number.

It was a very short phase when I was a kid in elementary school. Lucky 13 was my seat number for the spelling bee. I won that year. The next year I was placed in the same spot, thirteenth in line. I won again.

So obviously 13 was my lucky number, right? I assumed so. Until the next year, when I wasn't picked for that thirteenth chair.

It was that year that I realized 13 was not my lucky number. Because I won. And I went on to win again the following year. In fact, every year, regardless of what chair I started in, I was always the last one standing.

What I learned that year is a simple fact: Luck's got nothing to do with it.

It's a good lesson for a kid to learn. Just as good a lesson for an adult, too.

Successes aren't based on luck but on the hard work and effort you put into advancing. When you allow luck to be the reason for success then you're also allowing luck to be the reason for failure.

Take some ownership for failures as you would take pride in successes. Failures will come, believe me.

One year, failure came in the form of one, simple 11-letter word:

"Personality. P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y. Personality."

It's hard to forget the word that brought your aspirations of victory in your elementary school spelling bee to a sudden halt.

"Ding." That's how the teachers signaled an incorrect answer.

Even if it's been years and years, I still can't forget the words that brought my beeline for the national levels to a halt. Maybe it's just time to let bygones be bygones.

"Bygones. B-Y-G-O-N-E-S. Bygones."

Dang it. There's another one. Who even knows which letter or letters I missed or added. What matters is that I went home that night, and instead of just giving up, I started studying for the next year's bee.

(Yeah, I was that kid.)

But I learned one thing: Luck's got nothing to do with it.

--

P.S.

This is my first stab at audio blogging. I'd like to know what you think of this new format.

Is it too short? Too long? Is this something you'd like to see more?


I'd appreciate any feedback!

6 comments:

Stela said...

I felt like I was listening to a story from This American Life!
Can't wait to hear more!

Kayla Joy Smith said...

LOOOOVE. More please.
Oh, and it was short and sweet. Not too long and not too short.

Anonymous said...

Good job! Great use of all the different sounds! To me you animated your work! Brought even more life! I say it wasn't too short or long. Keep up the good work!
V.

rileyjoejantzen said...

This is wonderful. I want more!

Leslee said...

You have a great voice! You could do radio or tv!

P.S. You are such a nerd. N-E-R-D. Nerd.

But I love you for it!

Cara Carson said...

I loved it. It's great!