When discussing a wildly successful person, I’m sure you’ve heard this:
“He was at the right place and the right time. Sure it was a good idea but it was mostly luck.”
Some negative nabob throws a wet blanket on the idea that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things. However, there is an element of truth to this statement. Success does have a large component of luck but there is more to the story.
Was Bill Gates in the right place at the right time with the right idea? Yes. Was that luck? Yes.
Were the Beatles in the right place at the right time with the right music? Yes, and that was luck too.
There are countless stories like these. But there is a missing act to this narrative; all the practice, studying, effort, and failure that led up to that lucky moment.
Writers all start with shitty first drafts, then they rewrite and revise and edit, then they submit it to other writers for criticism, then they rewrite and revise again. After all that work, their first works will face repeated rejection (even the greats like Stephen King). The ‘lucky’ ones will work and fail until they ‘just get lucky.”
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
If you step onto a golf course having never swung and club, what are the odds of hitting a hole in one – worse than 50,000,000 to 1. How about if you played 36 holes a day, had professional training, and you had achieved a low handicap? Now your odds are 5,000 to 1. Does it still take luck? Yes it does, but your hard work and training has improved you odds by 1,000,000x!
“The harder I work, the luckier I get” – Samuel Goldwyn
But there is more to it than just hard work, it takes accepting failure as the natural path toward your goal.
Accept this: Without failure – you stagnate – improvement ends. Since perfection is unachievable, improvement is all you can work toward.
If you’re feeling unlucky today, pick your head up, puff your chest out little, and take another shot.
Luck doesn’t find you, you have to seek it out.