Leaving things to chance and the outside world.
“I don’t believe in luck.
I believe in being harbingers of our fate, determining our own path, taking action and creating our own destiny in life.”
While, in general, I believe most of us make our own luck there is actually two types of luck.
The type you do make … putting in the hard work and being ‘in the game’ which really isn’t luck … it is just making the most of opportunities that arise and putting yourself in position for those opportunities. Maybe I could just call this ‘being harbingers of our fate.”
And then there is truly the luck that occurs randomly … chance events in which … well … you are lucky or you are not. Maybe let’s call this “the whim of fate.”
Because of what I just said personally I think it is too simplistic to suggest “I do not believe in luck.” I believe that because you can work your ass off and you can do all the right things as often as you can … and random chance … luck as it were … comes whether you invite it or not.
This is not to suggest you shouldn’t work your ass off and put yourself in as many positions and opportunities as possible to increase the likelihood that “luck” or ‘chance’ veers in your direction. But I am suggesting that if you do this you are simply controlling your position, place and proximity to the contextual fabric of what is happening around you.
And while, yes, there are certainly things you can control I could argue that most things are truly out of your control.
Because of that I believe luck does play a role in people’s lives. And luck does not favor anyone, probably does not even recognize it is impacting anyone individually and is relatively indifferent to any scorecard of winners versus losers.
We should all understand that Luck is neither a friend or foe … it is simply a selfish individual always acting in its own best interest. And therefor should our interests coincide with its interests … we are good <lucky> and if our interests do not coincide … well … that is bad <unlucky>.
All this said.
One of the reasons I decided to discuss luck is that research shows over and over again we <people in general> have a natural tendency to overestimate the degree of responsibility for our own successes.
I am certainly not suggesting we shouldn’t take some ownership & pride of our successes and how we have managed to take advantage of the opportunities.
However, to simply suggest it was our own perseverance and hard work that created the success tends to overlook the importance of a dash of luck on occasion <which happens more often than we tend to believe>.
And by overlooking luck we then have a tendency, in our minds & attitudes, to adapt what was reality in our reflection … which then encourages us to stubbornly persevere in the future in the face of sometimes insurmountable obstacles.
Ignoring luck more often than not sets some incorrect self-expectations.
I tend to believe all of us know that almost all success results from a variety of factors which include hard work, talent, some aspect of the mind & thinking, perseverance and chance. And those factors ebb and wane depending on a variety of factors <things someone who is more passionate about will tend to work harder on>. This means that while we seek consistent behavior & actions to replicate our success that success is more often a result of inconsistent factors.
That said … the inconsistency with these factors permits us to reflect backwards upon the parts & pieces we want, or choose to see, to reflect upon as we construct our stories.
Needless to say … this inconsistency within the factors of success makes it very easy to drop luck from the story.
We, none of us, don’t particularly feel comfortable giving credit to luck.
E. B. White
“Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.”
Psychologists use a term called “hindsight bias.”
It is our natural tendency to think about the past that some event was predictable <even when it wasn’t> and therefore we tend to focus on the thought we had purposefully put ourselves in place for something that was inevitable <smart, hardworking people that we are>.
Studies show that “hindsight bias” actually is even stronger when associated with greater than expected successes.
PewResearch shows people in higher income brackets are much more likely than those with lower incomes to say that individuals get rich primarily because they work hard. Wealthy people overwhelmingly attribute their own success to hard work rather than to factors like luck or being in the right place at the right time.
Hard work matters.
But the one that that also matters I do not believe we discuss enough.
A connected engaged thinking mind.
“Chance favors the connected mind.”
I mentioned earlier that chance, or Luck, is indifferent to us. I would also suggest that luck, or unluck, unfolds and therefore how you react & adapt may be one of the most important behavior traits you can own in Life.
In something I wrote back in June 2014, horse racing & life, I suggested … “so many times we say ‘this is the way to win’ … but you know what? … everyone is trying to win. Oftentimes winning is about context and managing the moment.”
In this I believe I am suggesting you accept the fact that luck plays a role in Life and that you cannot control it … and you should actually expect it to stick its face into your business. and that if you have a connected mind, a mind which isn’t closed to learning & unlearning, a mind which is open to adapting against ‘status quo’ behavioral rules, well, you may actually have a chance with … well … chance.