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The fickle finger of fate?

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Slightly random blogging I’m afraid. My butterfly mind needs to land on some new themes before I get going. But some nuggets to keep my reader (hi Mum!) happy

I spoke this morning at the London Skills for Care conference. Not a huge gig and no fee for the RSA but it was returning a favour. I decided to start by telling the delegates about my last speech to the final conference of Commission for Social Care Inspection. It’s a long, very amusing (really) story, but the crux is that I successfully dissembled in order to get away with being badly prepared.

The story is about my good fortune and it led me to ask this question; why is it that whenever people say ‘life’s unfair’ they always mean they’ve have had bad luck?

Why does it sound wrong to say ‘life’s unfair, I’ve just won the lottery’ or ‘it’s unfair, I haven’t put on any weight despite eating lots of chocolate’.

It is, I think, a confirmation of the argument developed by Dan Gilbert in Stumbling into Happiness which is that we systematically exaggerate both the control we have over our own life course, and our own talents in comparison with other people. So, we have an inbuilt tendency to believe that good things in our life are the consequence of our own talents and actions while bad things are the result of misfortune.

Last but not least, we have some exciting news about our Chair of Trustees designate. It will be in the public domain by tomorrow, but suffice to say that after the fantastic work done by our existing Chair, Gerry Acher, the new man will bring invaluable new skills, experience and networks to the RSA as we move on to our next stage of development.

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