Welcome back, folks! Hope you had a wonderful weekend celebrating all the Big Poppas in your lives!
This weekend I stumbled upon a little inspiration by way of Sir Richard Branson, whose penchant for friendly wagering once landed him on the cabin crew of an AirAsia flight serving cocktails in a skirt to Archbishop Desmond Tutu (who described him as “voluptuous”). In this short, entertaining read, the British magnate most known for his extreme adventuring and humanitarian efforts – oh, and the 400 companies he owns – talks about how a risk-taking attitude has been at the core of his biggest successes. Want to do great things? Take bets and break records, he says.
The last time I did anything like take a risk, I was 23 and jumped out of a plane (pictured above) with an instructor and a midget ninja on my back – that was the fun part before I dry-heaved.
Famous bets that changed the world? (via Cracked.com)
- Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” on a $50 dare from his publisher that he couldn’t write a good story in 50 different words or less. So many of us never would have graduated Kindergarten without that book.
- George Lucas – so sure that his film “Star Wars” would tank at the box office – bet Steven Spielberg 2.5% of his profits for ALL TIME, if it did better than Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Cue Spielberg laughing all the way to the bank.
- In 1872, after fighting two wars against each other, tensions between America and Great Britain were at an all-time high. Yankee Gilbert Bates bet his friends $1,000 that he could walk across GB wearing full military regalia waving the American flag and come home with nary a scratch on him. Not only did he return unharmed, he was welcomed with such open arms (London threw him a citywide party) that it precipitated a turning point in US-Anglo relations. We have him to thank for Downtown Abbey and Benedict Cumberbatch.
- Sir Isaac Newton basically invented physics on a bet for 40 shillings that no one could explain why the planets don’t orbit in neat circles. Then he wrote the most influential scientific text of all time. Just a hunch, but I bet it ends with “BOOYAH, suckers.”
What are some of the best bets you’ve ever made?