Good Luck Comes to Optimists Who Do Not Give Up

(p. C3) Luck occurs at the intersection of random chance, talent and hard work. There may not be much you can do about the first part of that equation, but there’s a lot you can do about the other two. People who have a talent for making luck for themselves grab the unexpected opportunities that come along.
The good news is that there’s plenty of luck to go around if you know how to look for it.
. . .
Think yourself lucky. Psychologist Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania told us that if he were looking for a lucky person, “the number one ingredient that I’d select for would be optimism.” Early in his career, Dr. Seligman did groundbreaking experiments on learned helplessness, showing that animals put in stressful situations beyond their control eventually stop trying to escape. People also have a tendency to give up and complain when they think they’re victims of bad luck.
“Believing that you have some control over what happens fuels trying,” Dr. Seligman said. “If there’s a potentially good event for me, am I going to seize the opportunity and follow up, or am I going to be passive?”

For the full essay, see:
Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh. “Make Your Own Luck.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, March 3, 2018): C3.
(Note: ellipsis added; bold in original.)
(Note: the online version of the essay has the date March 1, 2018, and has the title “To Be Successful, Make Your Own Luck.”)

The essay is based on the authors’ book:
Kaplan, Janice, and Barnaby Marsh. How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life. New York: Dutton, 2018.

No End to “Tantalizing” Mysteries of Science

(p. A13) NASA’s Opportunity rover began its 15th year on Mars this week, although the intrepid robotic explorer may already be dead.
“I haven’t given up yet,” said Steven W. Squyres, the principal investigator for the mission. But he added, “This could be the end. Under the assumption that this is the end, it feels good. I mean that.”
The rover — which outlasted all expectations since its landing on Mars in 2004 and helped find convincing geological signs that water once flowed there — fell silent last June when it was enveloped by a global Martian dust storm. In darkness, the solar panels could not generate enough power to keep Opportunity awake.
. . .
Years ago, Dr. Squyres said no matter when the mission ended, he was sure that there would be some tantalizing mystery they would see just beyond reach.
On Thursday [January 24, 2019], he said that indeed seems to be the case. Opportunity was in the middle of exploring what looks like a gully that was formed by the flowing of water on ancient Mars. As expected, the gully looks eroded near the top, but the rover had not reached the bottom to look at where the sediments would have flowed.
The scientists had rejected some alternative hypotheses, but other ideas could also explain the landscape. “So far, the story is uncertain,” Dr. Squyres said. “The answer probably lies just down the hill.”

For the full story, see:

Kenneth Chang. “NASA’s Opportunity Rover May Have Reached Its End.” The New York Times (Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019): A13.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed date, added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Jan. 25, 2019, and has the title “‘This Could Be the End’ for NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover.”)

Former Biggest Retailer Sears Limps into Bankruptcy

(p. A1) For much of the 20th century, Sears defined American retailing with catalogs and department stores that brought toys, tools and appliances to millions of homes.
By the time Sears Holdings Corp. limped into bankruptcy on Monday [Oct. 15, 2018], the once-great company was shriveled and sickly. Decades earlier, it had been dethroned by Walmart Inc. as the biggest U.S. retailer. Then it was crippled by a chief executive with unorthodox strategies, and Amazon.com Inc., an endless online catalog that sucked profits out of the business.

For the full story, see:
Suzanne Kapner. “Sears, Once Retail Colossus, Enters Painful New Era.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018): A1 & A6.
(Note: bracketed date added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Oct. 15, 2018, and has the title “Sears Reshaped America, From Kenmore to Allstate.”)