It’s pretty safe to say that most success is born of perseverance. Yes, “who you know” can help. So can talent, and a solid work ethic. But in the end, it’s the guy or gal who never gives up who has the greatest chance of winning what they desire. Luck is handy too, so when you do have red letter days, cherish them. They don’t come around that often. But they remind us that perseverance can pay off.
An unlikely, but telling barometer of what can happen when one stays the course was revealed during a simple game of Scrabble. Just me and the computer. No emotion on its part. Plenty on mine.
I had had a good night’s sleep which may account for the devil-may-care attitude I adopted boldly upgrading my game level from “intermediate” to “advanced.” Steady… I know. And things did start out well. I matched the computer point for point. “Maybe I am actually MENSA material,” I thought to myself.
What soon followed, however, only served to humble me. My opponent starting scoring hugely and selecting words I had never even heard of. Faience was just one of them.
Suddenly an alert sounded: “Other player has 5 letters left.” Great. I had 7. All puns aside, there was no need to spell it out for me. I was going to L-O-S-E. I was so out of my league. But really, I was still feeling very je-m’en-fichiste (devil may care, en francais) and battled on willing to consider defeat but not complete slaughter. My looming loss could at least be a little less ugly if I could match my 7 remaining letters to any high yielding combination. I took my time and started scanning the board. And there it was. Mon bon mot (French for my good word). A lovely little hidden gem that just had to be painstakingly chiseled away at before it could be unearthed in all its glory.
“G.” As in godsend was sitting atop of the board. And next to it, 7 empty spaces. Like a gift from the gods my newly formed “Greeter” also ended on a triple tile yielding an unbelievable 80 points and victory for me! Imagine that, on the last play of the day. I am not a statistician, but I think we can all agree that these were impossible odds. I was lucky, no doubt. But you gotta be in the game to get lucky, don’t you? How many times have we expected that failure was a fait acommpli ? (you know that one) and just given up before the challenge was actually lost?
Time to come down to earth. Chores called. I did a load of wash and what did I find at the bottom of the dryer drum? $5.00. What’s more, I learned a new SCRABBLE word: faience which is glazed ceramic ware. Truly a Red Letter Day.
Follow Up: Since that fateful day I have challenged the computer in”advanced:” mode seven more times. I have won only once and have since reverted back to “Intermediate” where I am mostly victorious and very pleased with myself.
When I do decide to “upgrade” again (translation: lose again) I will remember Thomas Edison’s quote after hundreds of unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. “I have not failed,” he said. “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”….