Friday13th and Belief

Friday 13th beliefs

A change of pace from the series on marathon goals for marketers in this post.

Today is Friday the 13th, the only Friday 13th this year.

A day when many of the estimated 17 to 21 million sufferers of Triskaidekaphobia in the USA will not get out of bed. (Wikipedia) Many others will alter their habits in some way because of their belief that it is an unlucky day.

The superstition that Friday 13th is an unlucky day is also estimated to cost the US economy between $800 and $900 million.

Surprisingly, this superstition has not been around for that long. The first records of Friday 13th being unlucky appeared in the 19th century. Some scholars believe that it is actually a combination of two much older fears, that of Friday being an unlucky day and 13 being an odd or unlucky number compared to 12 which signified completeness.

Another interesting bit of trivia is that every year will have between 1 and 3 Friday 13ths.

So what has Friday 13th got to do with motivation or marketing?

What I find interesting is that millions of people  believe that Friday13th is an unlucky day, that they need to be extra careful, should not make important decisions may, even stay in bed all day.

All this based on a belief.

A belief without any logical explanation.

A belief without any scientific evidence to support it.

A belief that has been spread by word of mouth from generation to generation over the last 200 years or so.

Even those of us who claim that we are not superstitious sometimes think twice before walking under a ladder – especially on Friday 13th.  Many of us grew up constantly exposed to “Friday 13th is an unlucky day” in the background.

So what is surprising is that millions of us believe in superstitions like Friday 13th, but find it difficult to believe in our own abilities.

Why do so many of us struggle to believe that we can achieve our goals, why do we look for proof or assurances before we take action?

Why do we want proof that we will be successful before we can believe that we will be.

Yet we believe, even if only sub-consciously, in superstions about black cats, ladders and Friday 13th.

Here’s a book that shows how an Olympic Sportsman did believe he could achieve his goals.

A life that counts.

Wishing you success in all your endeavours.

Peter Wright


p.s. After this diversion for Friday 13th, the next post will wrap up the Marathon Goals series with some conclusions.

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