Are You Lucky Enough to be Lucky?
I have this thesis that the world runs on luck. The question is what you do with it — are you alert enough to know you’re becoming lucky, are you talented enough to take that advantage and run with it, and do you have enough grit, do you have enough resilience to stay with it when it gets hard? — Kevin Systrom
We are often told that success depends on hard work. But study the life of any successful person, and you’ll find that they also got lucky.
This is not to say that they didn’t work hard; they practiced their craft for years, they were forced to work a job they didn’t like, they had to face opposition and ridicule from other people.
But when they ultimately got successful, it wasn’t entirely due to the hard work they put it. They were also lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
Does that means you should stop working altogether? Sit in your place waiting for the stars to align, or will for success to find you through The Law of Attraction?
Unfortunately, that’s not how things happen. Luck is important, but it’s just one factor to make you successful. Similarly, hard work is another factor. There are others, like perseverance, that are also important. You get success when you have all these factors working together.
But if luck plays a role, how do you make sure you’re getting enough of it? Is it even possible to control your luck?
You cannot force luck to come to you, but you can definitely increase your chances of getting lucky. Further, you can make your success sustainable, rather than fading away after one single rise to the top.
Here are a few scenarios in which you can get lucky, and how things can play out:
You are in the right place at the right time. All you need to do is to reach out to that one person, and you will be all set.
But you are not even aware that that is the person you need. You haven’t done your research yet. So even if that person came over and talked to you, you won’t be able to take advantage of that fact.
Again, that person is right there in front of you. This time, you even know who that is. You got a chance to talk with them. But you’re out of practice. You don’t have any cool ideas to pitch them with.
As a result, they will talk with you and even be interested, but without a clear idea of what you can do for them, they will leave.
Everything worked out. They noticed you. You got in. There’s only one problem: Your new work is very demanding. You’re exhausted. Eventually, you say you can’t take it anymore, and end up quitting.
Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity. — Seneca
In all the above scenarios, you got all the luck you wanted, but you couldn’t use it to it’s full potential. In the last one, you even began working on your dream, but the effort involved became too much. So, after a quick rise to the top, you dipped down again.
Thus, in order to make sure you find luck and your luck stays, you should be:
- Prepared with all the skills you’ll need to make it
- Do your research about what and who you will need for your success
- Go to places where you’re more likely to stumble across luck
- Connect with as many people as possible
- Have your best idea ready, and know how to pitch it to others
- Have a lot of resilience, and develop the ability to persevere against all odds