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Why Kick Yourself When the World is Already Doing a Good Job of It?

By Joe Pagano

Nothing smarts so much as when the world gives you a good butt-kicking. Nobody—not even the rich and famous—are immune to such occasional whippings. But the rich, famous, and highly successful have their riches, fame, and financial success to lean back upon. What do the regular average Joe's and Jane's have to lean on when the cold world turns its ugly head and starts its unrelenting chase?

As much as I like to believe that we are what we make of ourselves, I have both lived and seen enough to know that despite the panderage of the self-help camp, life is not always fair and there is such a thing as luck. If you doubt this, let me remind you of the mathematical entity called the normal curve. This mathematical tool lends credence to the statement "You gotta be lucky." You see the normal, or bell-shaped curve, models very well the distribution of things like intelligence, height, and weight. Intuitively, that the shape of these distributions would conform to the bell-shaped pattern makes sense as most people will be average in regard to height, weight, and intelligence; while some will be on the high end, some on the low end, but most will bunch up in the middle. Such patterns of distribution form the nice symmetrical bell curve, with the point of symmetry being the average, and the two tailing-off pieces representing the extremes.

The beauty of mathematics lies in its ability to make predictions about things we know little about. This entry into unknown realms is called extrapolation and statistics is one of the fields which exploits this

mathArithmetic Magic, the little classic on the ABC’s of arithmetic. Joe is also author of the charming self-help ebook, Making a Good Impression Every Time: The Secret to Instant Popularity; the original collection of poetry, Poems for the Mathematically Insecure, and the short but highly effective fraction troubleshooter Fractions for the Faint of Heart. The diverse genre of his writings (novel, short story, essay, script, and poetry)—particularly in regard to its educational flavor— continues to captivate readers and to earn him recognition.

Joe propagates his teaching philosophy through his articles and books and is dedicated to helping educate children living in impoverished countries. Toward this end, he donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every ebook. For more information go to

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