That’s right: Luck has nothing to do with it, as some allegedly “fortunate” people say. And in this case, “it” doesn’t just mean confidence.
It means life. Life as you’d like it to be. And the life that we see someone leading, when we immediately consider them “lucky”.
See, whenever someone seems to reap all the rewards in life, we tend to think of them as “fortunate” or “lucky”, yeah?
Well, would you believe me if I told you that ascribing “luck” to anyone or anything is potentially harmful to us?
What exactly is luck anyway? Many people would probably define it as something like, “when things coincidentally fall out to your advantage”. But is it really just that?
And more importantly, would we need more than merely coincidence to receive the gifts of life?
(SPOILER ALERT: Yes. Yes it does.)
When Michael Jackson recorded the “Thriller” album, did it sell millions because of “luck”? Or was it because he had spent his entire childhood and adolescence working his derrière off, meticulously honing his craft and gathering a hugely talented team of producers, songwriters and A&R people behind him?
When Steve Jobs released the first iPhone, did it become hugely successful because of “luck”? Or was it because he dared to take chances, push the envelope, fulfil the needs that his customers had — even ones they didn’t realize they had — and amass an army of professional developers and marketers behind him?
Sure, Michael Jackson was probably as close to being the proverbial natural talent as they come. And Steve Jobs, according to many, was a natural visionary who simply thought outside the box and dreamt big.
But what good would that have done them if they hadn’t put in the work, insisted upon their dreams, and kept at it for years and years?
Luck has nothing to do with it because “it”doesn’t happen without taking action.
Here’s another thing:
Have you ever seen “Forrest Gump”? If not, it’s a fine movie, and you should see it at least once.*
Forrest Gump, our titular protagonist, is clearly slow-witted, but likeable. And he somehow manages to walk through life and attract all kinds of success and fortune as he cluelessly goes along. Only he never realizes it. Because success and fortune simply doesn’t resonate with his humble mind.
Let’s pause here for a moment. Now, think about your own life.
Have you ever learned a new word, and then in the following days and weeks you saw and heard that word everywhere?
Or have you ever been unemployed and looked for jobs, and all of a sudden job applications are everywhere?
I know, right?
The key word here is awareness.
Forrest Gump doesn’t consciously experience fame and fortune, because his awareness is on a different level. When we’re consciously aware of something, we’re gonna find it.
Not because there’s more of it, but simply because we’ve become aware of it. Like a hunter who deliberately ignores anything but the potential sights and sounds of his prey.
Luck has nothing to do with it, because what good would all the coincidence in the world do us if we weren’t aware of it?
“But wait a minute! What was that thing you said about how ascribing luck to anyone could be “harmful”??”
Yeah, see, that’s because it’s something that non-fident people tend to do. Which is rarely beneficial.
It’s when we’re non-fident that we tend to think in terms of “luck” — and “bad luck”. Specifically, we tend to think that other people get all the luck, and that we’re victims of unfortunate circumstances.
This is a conveniently easy way of thinking, because it takes the responsibility for our lives out of our hands. And for the same reason, it’s also a dangerous way of thinking.
But when we allow ourselves to go for the life we want, consistently taking action and raising our awareness will make sure that we get it.
Some people might be born with certain advantages, yes. But imagine how many people never put that advantage to any use. Either because they never see the possibilities and/or because they’re simply too shy to act on it.
And now, think of all the famous media persons who obviously wouldn’t recognize talent even if it came out of nowhere and took away all their limelight.
Think of all the wealthy corporate leaders who got where they are by being uncompromising, cold as ice, playing the game and doing what’s best for the company no matter what.
Think of all the powerful politicians, all the Frank Underwood’s of the world, who got to where they are by lying, manipulating, and probably worse.
Really, luck has nothing to do with it. But being aware of our opportunities, and taking consistent action towards them has everything to do with it.
This week, take up learning something new. Something you’ve been wanting to get into, only you couldn’t find the time (or whatever excuse you made for yourself).
Set aside 1/2 hour every night, monday through friday, for working on that thing only. Nothing else. This means, turn off your phone. No phone; no social media or other distractions. Just you and your new challenge.
Getting into this sort of habit will eventually prove to us that luck has nothing to do with it. — And that practice, consistency, and focus are the keys to accomplishing pretty much anything.
* Yes, I know it’s originally a book. So are a lot of great movies.