You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough.” But what exactly does the ‘luck of the Irish’ mean? Anyone familiar with the history of Ireland will tell you that the Irish have spent much of theirs battling adversity, subjected to conquests and invasions, a devastating potato famine that drove millions to distant shores, and civil war, among others. So, where did the expression originate and why? Does luck simply refer to the will and determination to overcome hardship and misfortune? The ability to maintain a positive perspective when faced with misfortune? Or something else entirely?
There seems to be two schools of thought on the topic. According to Edward T. O’Donnell, an Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College and author of 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History, the saying is actually an old miners’ expression. O’Donnell explains on the website, Irish Central, that during the 19th century gold and silver rush in the US, a number of very successful miners of Irish and American birth found their ‘pot of gold’. At that time, the expression was considered a pejorative term, inferring that ‘only by luck’ did the Irish miners succeed in their quest for gold vs. knowledge, skill, hard work, and determination. Others believe the term comes from the legend of the ‘Little People’ or Leprechauns. According to Tour Ireland, finding or catching a leprechaun (who would then be required to give you gold) was a lucky event that could only take place in Ireland.
Like many expressions, meanings change over time. Today, when Irish and non-Irish Americans enthusiastically toast to the luck of the Irish over pints of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, they’re simply wishing each other good fortune and the hope that serendipity plays a positive role in their lives.
Good luck is a universal, human desire. Who among us doesn’t welcome a little luck when it comes to holding the winning lottery ticket or experiencing a big career break? But is luck pure chance or can you take steps to invite more of it into your life?
When it comes to defining the role luck plays in our educational opportunities, career advancement, investment success, and the relationships we value the most, I’m inclined to agree with the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – A.D. 65) who said , “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Think about one of your earliest experiences with preparation—studying for exams in school. While a select few can get away with absorbing enough information to ace a test by simply attending class, the majority of us rely on focused study habits to achieve that end. In other words, the hard work that goes into preparation.
Over the years, I’ve met with a number of prospective clients who, when asked what they would like to achieve in a fulfilling financial future, said they “hoped” to be “lucky enough” to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But hope and luck are not goals. In fact, hope isn’t even a strategy. I have to invoke Seneca once again here (the man was apparently a big proponent of the power of preparation): “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
That’s why the planning process focuses on clear, specific goals. That’s not to say that hope doesn’t play a role. We may hope to get married and have children. We hope we’ll enjoy good health through our retirement years and be surrounded by the friends and family members we love for as long as possible. But hope requires action. Without action, our hopes and desires are left purely to chance and dumb luck. Only when our hopes are articulated as concrete, measurable goals can strategies be developed to pursue and track progress toward them. For example, if we ‘hope’ to enjoy good health as we age, it makes sense to be mindful of what we eat and drink, incorporate exercise into our daily lives, and avoid habits and behaviors that may undermine our health. While there’s no guarantee that these steps will ensure a lifetime of good health, we open ourselves to increased opportunities to enjoy good health for a longer period of time. But it doesn’t end there.
Comprehensive planning also accounts for the ‘what ifs’ in life. What if the unexpected happens—you become ill, incapacitated or die? Planning for each scenario (taking deliberate steps that can lead to predictable outcomes) is what transforms hope from an elusive desire to something attainable. Luck, on the other hand, is inert. It’s devoid of deliberate action. Simply relying on luck strips us of any power over our own circumstances.
Think about the markets. It will do whatever it can to prove the largest number of people wrong at any given moment. And yes, sometimes, people refer to getting lucky in the stock market, but what does that really mean? If you buy and then sell the right stock at the right time you may be well-rewarded for your efforts. But you’re not lucky. You hopefully took deliberate action to buy and sell those shares, based more on your risk tolerance than your emotions at the time. You pushed your luck. Meanwhile, the same investor sitting on the sidelines in cash would have missed that opportunity. He or she took no action to open themselves up to the opportunity to create more. Planning not only provides a way to capture the opportunities that are right for you, but to push your luck in a manner that allows you to manage risk in alignment with your individual goals.
Once you begin to view your wealth as a tool for fulfilling your lifestyle experiences and desires, taking steps to plan for and manage your wealth becomes a priority. That’s because planning provides a clear path toward achieving your desired outcomes. For example, if you hope you’ll be able to remain in your home even if you require care later in life, planning for that scenario creates the confidence that you’ll have the financial means to do so. You’re no longer simply hoping that the planets align or something outside of your control (a Leprechaun with pot of gold at the end of a rainbow) intervenes on your behalf.
Planning is what helps you identify the port you’re sailing to so you can take steps to harness the most favorable winds along the way. So, go ahead. Push your luck this St. Patrick’s Day by resolving to put a plan in place for your financial future.
Anne del Castillo Named New York City’s Commissioner of Media and Entertainment
The film and TV industries in New York City have a new boss: Anne del Castillo, who has been tapped by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
Del Castillo had served as general counsel and chief operating officer of MOME since 2015. She succeeds Julie Menin, who left the post in February after nearly three years to become Census Director for the city. Del Castillo had been acting commissioner since Menin’s departure.
“Media and entertainment are central to New York City’s economy and identity. Anne has the vision and experience to continue to strengthen the industry during this time of unprecedented growth and change,” said de Blasio. “Her commitment to diversifying our entertainment sector and piloting innovative programs will ensure New York continues to be the media capital of the world.”
At MOME, del Castillo will oversee all activity in the city related to location shooting, tax incentives and the city’s growing focus on diversity and inclusion programs designed to open doors for film and TV employment opportunities to a broad range of New Yorkers. MOME’s charter also extends to the music, Broadway, advertising and other media sectors active in the city.
In all, media and entertainment account for some 305,000 local jobs and economic output of $104 billion, per the Mayor’s Office. Given the rapid growth of lensing in New York during the past 20 years, the MOME commissioner has influence in Hollywood as well as in the five boroughs.
“This is an exciting time for our agency to engage a broad cross-section of industry, community and other key stakeholders to advance an inclusive, sustainable and thriving creative economy that benefits all New Yorkers and reflects the diversity that defines our city,” del Castillo said.
Under Menin, expanded from supporting the film, TV, and theater industries to supporting the music, publishing, advertising and digital media industries as well. MOME also encompasses NYC Media, the City’s official broadcast network and the Office of Nightlife.
That office — and the institution of former bar owner Ariel Palitz as the city’s first “nightlife mayor” — was one of Menin’s signature initiatives as commissioner, along with an outreach program for the city’s music industry, which included a hearing involving some 75 organizations and companies that do business in the city. Menin was also involved in the city’s hosting of the 2018 Grammy Awards, the first time in 15 years the ceremony was held in New York.
Del Castillo joined MOME in 2014 as director of legal affairs. She was closely involved in the creation of the Made in NY Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund, which is has begun to distribute $5 million in grants to women filmmakers and playwrights.
Before that, del Castillo was VP of development and business affairs at American Documentary, producer of PBS’ “POV,” and she worked as associate director of the Austin Film Society, where she administered the Texas Filmmakers Production fund.
“We applaud Mayor de Blasio for his selection, we welcome Commissioner del Castillo, and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the great staff of the Mayor’s Film Office,” said Dee Dee Myers, executive VP of worldwide corporate communications and public affairs for Warner Bros.
Del Castillo’s work in the arena of diversity and inclusion makes her well-suited to her new role.
“We have had the privilege of working with Anne on a number of projects, including the innovative Made in New York Writers Room fellowship, which is advancing the careers of talented television writers whose backgrounds and voices reflect the diversity of the city,” said Lowell Peterson, exec director of Writers Guild of America East. “Anne and MOME are great partners to an important industry and we look forward to continuing to work together.”
World War Z Launch Suffers with Connectivity Issues, Server Problems and Bugs
World War Z launched yesterday, but its first day on the market didn’t exactly go smoothly. Players have reported numerous issues such as multiple failed attempts to connect to the game’s servers and problems during gameplay that halts progression.
The biggest issue at launch appears to be a lack of servers for players to join, meaning that the game is only playable in an offline state. For an online-focused co-operative title, this is quite clearly a major issue. To developer Saber Interactive’s credit though, it looks like the team is trying its best to get more servers up and running to alleviate the problem.
What may take a little more time though are the bugs and glitches that have been brought to light. Personally speaking, we haven’t been able to finish the game’s first chapter yet because the game freezes and doesn’t conclude the level correctly. Other players have reported jittery movement, a “Loading Game Logic” message that crashes the game, and being unable to play with friends in different regions.
Dish to Game of Thrones fans: ‘You’ll need to subscribe to HBO Now’
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan and a Dish or Sling TV customer, you’re going to need to subscribe to HBO Now if you want to watch the April 14 premiere of the hit TV show’s final season.
Since Nov. 2018, Dish and HBO have been involved in a dispute which has left the premium TV network blacked out for Dish subscribers. Sling TV, Dish’s streaming platform, has been affected by the dispute as well.
As a result, subscribers to either Dish service have been unable to subscribe to an HBO package through their TV provider.
With the long-awaited final season of Game of Thrones premiering on Sunday night, the satellite television company is directing its subscribers to sign up for HBO Now.
Dish has even gone so far as to set up a website explaining to its customers how to subscribe to HBO Now, which it calls “similar to Netflix.” HBO Now is HBO’s standalone streaming television service, so it doesn’t require a cable or satellite subscription. Dish doesn’t receive any compensation for sending its customers to the HBO Now service, though the company obviously benefits by keeping its customers happy.
As of April 2019, the Dish-HBO standoff is in its fifth month, with neither company close to a deal as far as anyone on the outside knows. The channel blackout on Dish is HBO’s first in its history.
Negotiations stalled between the TV service provider and the premium TV network over a “carriage fee” dispute. Dish claimed in a 2018 statement that HBO’s parent company, AT&T, wanted “a guaranteed number of subscribers, regardless of how many consumers actually want to subscribe to HBO.”
As of now, it looks like the dispute between HBO and Dish will continue long after winter comes on the final season of Game of Thrones.
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