“I am a great believer in luck. I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” ~Thomas Jefferson
We all know those people. The ones who seem to have had everything handed to them—good looks, great personality, wealthy family, stellar education, A-list job. They don’t seem to have to work hard for anything; life just shone down on them, like a magnanimous benefactor, and granted them the kind of luck the rest of us would kill for.
Except for one thing: there is no such thing as “luck.”
Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t those few incredibly fortunate bastards people out there who do find themselves living ridiculously blessed lives through no fault of their own. There are, and I, like you, want to punch them in the face.
But for every one of those people, there are countless other enviable success stories that occurred for a very different reason: sheer, concentrated, doggedly determined work and optimism.
Luck is What You Make of It
The world is a curious thing; it responds to us according to how we respond to it. All those hippy-dippy-trippy types who claim the universe will give you whatever you open yourself up to receive? They’re actually onto something.“Luck,” as we commonly understand it, actually boils down to a simple equation:
Work + Availability = Opportunities
In other words, if you’re a writer, the muses won’t alight on your shoulders every time you sit down to your keyboard and grant you perfect inspiration. But, if you show up every day (whether you produce something good or not) and continue honing your craft and keeping your creative mind open to the world around you, you will suddenly find yourself having those “aha!” moments more and more. Because you’ve done the work, and you’ve put yourself in a place where great things can start happening. So, funnily enough, they start happening.
If you dream of leaving your soul-crushing job to start your own business, and all you ever do about it is vent on Facebook and quietly steal staples from the office supply cabinet, chances are that dream of yours is not really going to get anywhere. If, on the other hand, you get out there and start doing stuff (building a website, networking, taking courses, anything you can (even if right now it seems silly and futile)), you’d be amazed what will start coming out of the woodwork. Once you’ve started down a path to your goal, connections will start being made. Friends of friends will hear about you and be interested in your services. Someone in that course you took will hook you up with a fantastic mentor, who will get you your first client.
It’s all because you’re out there, doing the work in the place where the opportunities can find you.
Once you make yourself available, once you declare that you’re ready to finally Do This Thing (and then you go out and actually Do That Thing), the universe starts reciprocating. Call that hippy-dippy-trippy if you like, but look very far into histories of any of the great success stories out there, and you’re going to find that the real leaders and inventors and innovators made their own luck.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.
I double-dog dare you.
Read the complete article by Kelly Gurnett