“We always take credit for the good and attribute the bad to fortune.” – Charles Kuralt
Most stories that we hear repeat the pattern of “The Hero’s Journey” and the main takeaways are usually some version of the following:
Believe in yourself, never give up, be positive, be passionate, surround yourself with the right people, quit whining, you can do it, deal with it, be responsible, dare to fail, challenge authority, educate yourself, take care of others, adapt, ask questions, get out of your comfort zone, get a mentor, be honest with yourself about your flaws, don’t procastinate, be a leader, don’t let the past dictate your future, be patient, etc.
These are all amazing lessons to learn, in fact they’re far more important than what I’m going to share next. In fact, you already know it.
It’s the role of luck. Pure. Dumb. Luck.
Now, the reason I want to emphasize this semi-uncontrollable RNG (random number generator) known by its various names like: luck, fortune, serendipity, blessing, karma, godsend, kismet, break, opportunity, and so on, is that many people have already absorbed those lessons.
When people ask me about what I think they should do I too make sure that they know the amount of hard work, research, and time everyone of us has to put into it.
Most of the time people politely nod their heads because they’ve already heard the same things regurgitated about 1,000 times before.
Then I throw them the curveball that is: “…but the most importantly: being lucky. Be as lucky as you possibly can be.”
This either makes people smile or gives rise to a look that says: “Dafuq?”
I then go on to give examples of times when I was incredibly lucky.
Like when I was in a dark place in my life and I needed a change. A friend recommended a website for sublet apartments. I found one, and moved in 3 months later. This lead me to meet some amazing people, get a job I loved and those things eventually helped turn my life around.
I remember the luck I had getting my first home. It was for sale during summer and nobody else was bidding. It was just out of my price range but the broker actually helped me get it financed. Five years later it had more than doubled in value.
Or the time I’d been thinking about taking time off from work and educating myself for 2 years. Just then I helped a drunk biker who was falling over on the sidewalk who after chatting for a bit gave me the sage advice:
“You can get whatever you want in life. You just need to be prepared when the opportunity presents itself.”
This very much echoes Seneca’s “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” but it was exactly what I needed to hear in order to make that change.
And it paid off. Big time.
I think the reason why the role of luck isn’t emphasized as much as it perhaps ought to be is that it’s something that’s almost completely out of our control.
While it’s true that the harder we work the luckier we get, we can’t plan luck. We can only prepare ourselves for it.
If we write everything off as a game of chance then we give ourselves a free pass to not put in the effort. Because, you know, why would you?
However, if we accept that it’s something we can’t control and look at the things we actually can, we put ourselves in a far better position to succeed.
I’m very grateful and aware the role luck has played in my life.
Can you think of a time when fortune smiled upon you, traveller?
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!