Whichever way you define luck, every successful person has dabs of the ‘lucky paint’ on them. We marvel at people who always seem to get it right or always seem to ‘land on their feet’ as one writer put it. Conversely, we often disesteem the role of sheer luck in our success as Sunny Bindra recently wrote in an article.
However, if like me, you are one given to occasional chit-chats with folks about their hopes and dreams, you probably have met one or two people that are hoping [waiting] for that one day or ‘waiting for their big breaks’. We’ve done well to understand that big breaks count for a lot in any great success; however, that is as far as we have gone. Popular maxims like “good things come to those who wait” or “only fools rush in” are common and even useful, but NOT when they encourage a sense of lax or indolence. This is because they are wrongfully applied. So does this mean that the successful person is always frantic? Of course not!
Waiting is dangerous; especially the kind that we see around. In my observation, luck or ‘the big breaks’ somehow seems to escape the idle hands and those that seek repose. Deliberately. Like a fine lady, it side steps the crowds, and especially the idle folk, graciously making her way to the one gentleman she shall choose. We may have developed complex algorithms [and which I hope are random] to determine ‘lucky’ winners in game shows and lotteries, but the kind of luck I am talking about has so far eluded us. We are left with one thing to do; PREPARATION.
One common thing with people who get lucky breaks is the fact that they are scarcely involved with its pursuit. They don’t look for it and they are often the hosts of an ‘unbidden visitor’, almost as if they were receiving an intruder. Strangely, they always seem well prepared for this visit and usually make the most of it. These are the individuals who are constantly working at something and have refused to hang their hands in indolence. In fact, their daily actions may even seem to be unrelated to the very event, chance or lucky break that catapults them into great success. You may have heard of the so-called “accidental inventions” such as the microwave or Penicillin. The caveat? These folks were doing something with themselves and applying themselves to “what their hands could find to do with all their might” as the wise king Solomon once said.
Activity seems like the only preparation necessary and every other ‘strategy’ or ‘method’ is mostly a wild card at best. Tom Hopkins in one of his best-selling books [The Official Guide to Success] furnishes us with what he calls his ‘golden dozen’ which he argues encompasses full preparation: “I MUST DO THE MOST PRODUCTIVE THING POSSIBLE AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT”. He implores us to repeat this to ourselves every day until it becomes a part of our wiring.
The added benefit of this kind of attitude is that it accords COMPLETE preparation in that, you are ALSO able to recognize opportunity which really is the essence of lucky breaks. If you are ONLY able to develop a sense of industry and active labor but never able to RECOGNIZE opportunities, then you are ‘half-baked’. Consider Albert Elijah Dunning, the famous American theologian’s simple words on the matter:
“Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them is simply fidelity to what each day brings”
ü The Luck factor by Richard Wiseman
ü Outliers; The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell,
ü The Bible; Ecclesiastes 9:10-11, 11:6