We always tend to attribute our successes to our hard work and smart decisions, down-playing the elements of chance and opportunity. Looking at my own history of ups and downs, it is easy for me, now that things have turned out for the best, to think it must have been all my hard work, perseverance, and honesty of the past that allowed me to finally turn a lucky opportunity into a success story. In reality, however, there were so many factors completely beyond my control it could easily have turned into a complete disaster. In all humility I have to acknowledge that I have been incredibly fortunate and got to where I am now through “a series of fortunate events” I cannot honestly take credit for. Sure, once things turned for the better, I’m sure hard work, and perseverance helped to stay on course, but compared to just happening to be in the right place at the right times meeting the right people, my hard work was a minor part of my success at best.
I would love to say “I made it, because I deserve it”. That would definitely make me feel good about myself. But in all honesty, “I made it, because I was incredibly lucky” is a lot closer to the truth.
3 thoughts on “On Luck”
True, and very necessary humility, Bard, yet you also do yourself down somewhat – there has been a vast amount of hard work in there too, as well as a sizeable amount of the opposite side of luck. There’s that old phrase of Pasteur’s that “In the field of observation, chance favours the prepared mind”; in your case it might be closer to “In the field of life, chance favours the prepared soul”. Being fair to yourself means being fair in both directions: humility, yes, yet respect of your own hard work and maintained commitment to your values too.
have you ever watched Inside the Actor’s Studio? Most of the famous actors interviewed credit their career not to their talent, hard work or good looks, but to luck and coincidence.
Whilst luck and fortunate events may present the opportunities, it’s what you do with them that makes the difference. A great opportunity seized and acted on with hard work will result in great progress, I bet that although the seed may have been “luck” the results are from perseverance, hard work and diligent choices. Wise words by “tetradian” in the previous post.