What is your outlier?

Without doubt, motivational quotes and the likes can be, in essence, a positive influence. A couple of years ago I’d probably have painted dozens of them all over the apartment I never bought.

But today I’m getting sick of them. Why? Because I don’t think they ever paint the whole picture.

Breaking it down, most of them are related to (financial) success. They tell you to graft harder, work longer, hustle when ”normal” people are sleeping etc.

And to some extent, they are 100% accurate, you do need to put in the hours and have grit to become successful.

But grit and hard work will only take you so far, it’s not the entire formula.

Some context
 I recently had the joy of delivering some really great news to my close circle of friends, and the unanimous response was: ”I’ve seen you work harder than anyone, for such a long time, if there’s anyone that deserves this, it’s you”. Besides making me feel like a million bucks (because who doesn’t crave the validation of those around them, even if I thought I was past that? But I digress, let’s not open that box!) it also hit me, was I able to put this solely down to my work-ethic?

It simply isn’t. Putting in the hours and showing grit and grim determination merely facilitated it. It is thanks to luck and seized opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, without the hard work I wouldn’t have been in a position to seize the opportunities, or benefit from the luck.

I was fortunate to grow up the way I did, in the environment that surrounded me, with the parents I had. That molded me and made me able to not only withstand, but also enjoy the long hours. It gave me the grit I needed to face defeat, retreat, recuperate and attack again and again like a relentless pitbull.

Once that foundation was ”established”, I had luck down the road when a CMO (who today is my mentor) found me almost two years ago and took a chance on bringing me into a project which turned out to be one of the best opportunities that existed to prove my worth. Grit and hard work then took over and ensured that the opportunity was seized.

If you’ve made it all the way down here:
 The point I’m trying to make is, don’t fall for the fallacy that all you need is #hustle. I believe that if you are aware that the universe needs to come together (and it will, if you work hard) for you to succeed, you will be better equipped to spot an opportunity when it’s served up, and take advantage of luck when it lands in your lap.

When you are beyond the point of measuring success in financial terms (it will come, I promise) it will also let you live a much more meaningful life, as it helps you to find gratefulness for things that on the surface seem negative.


Originally published at aabergkvist.com.