Make Luck Your Bitch

“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever known someone with “bad luck”? I mean, real shit luck. The kind of person that can find the one dog turd in a park with his shoe? The kind of person that always gets gypped of the prize in the cereal box? The kind of person that never gets the promotion, can’t pay the bills, gets sick all the time, family won’t talk to them, has asshole kids, etc. This person’s perception becomes one of two things:

1) “There’s no point in trying, I just have shitty luck,” which causes the person to never start. 2) “I will try, but nothing is ever going to happen,” which causes the person to never finish.

In the immortal words of BJJ legend Kurt Osiander: “You fucked up a long time ago.”

In most cases, the way a person views his “luck” is a matter of perception. For a really fascinating read on this, check this study out: THE LUCK FACTOR. The summary of which is that there really is no such thing as “luck”. At least not as most people believe. Much of the good and bad luck we encounter is a result of our thoughts and behavior. Most importantly…sometimes shit just happens.

“Good luck” and “bad luck” are just ways to define the results (consequences) of our efforts. In everything you do, results correlate directly with hard work…or being lazy…both still yield a result.

“But wait, Ethan, I busted my ass and things are still fucked up?”

Yes, but did you get a RESULT from your effort? Just because it wasn’t the result you wanted, doesn’t mean it is negative. Did you learn something? Most likely. Was it helpful to you or someone else? Probably.

REMEMBER THIS: Every single huge success story also includes colossal failures. WAY more failures than success. If those people viewed those failures as “bad luck” they would have dismissed the lesson learned. They would never have continued on to greatness. Those people took those “failures” and learned…changed…adapted…grew.

This is true for every goal: lose weight, get stronger, make more money, quit smoking, and any other New Year’s Resolution cliche.

So the question is this:

Are you offensive or defensive? Pro active or reactionary? Positive or negative? Lucky or unlucky?

YOU ARE ALL OF THOSE!. You have to be. You are human. You CAN’T be purely “offensive” without being naive, you can’t be purely “pro-active” without ignoring possibilities, you can’t be “positive” all the time without sounding insincere, and you can’t be “lucky” all the time because shit happens.

It is your PERCEPTION of these realities that determine whether you are living your life or being a victim of life. Don’t be life’s whipping boy.

“Ok, great, Mr. Smarty Pants, but now what?”

  1. Recognize that you are failing because you are REALLY good at making excuses and justifying them with bullshit. If you want to do something, you can do it. Start here: An Argument for a Mid-Life Crisis.
  2. Understand “consequences” and “results” are the same thing. The only difference is in your attitude and perspective. If you do positive things…good things…most of the time, you will get a positive result. If you get a negative result, it’s still a result. Learn from it.
  3. Shit happens. Not because God hates you, not because of bad luck, not because you were a dick in your past life; Shit just happens. Accept the shit and move on.
  4. Know that you are going to mess up. You will probably mess up real bad. Remember…YOU messed up. You did it to yourself. Own it. Move on. Do better.

“If you own your luck, you make it your bitch” — Me

Originally published at THE STRONGER LIFE.