I would be insulted if you called me lucky two years ago.

After all, I worked my ass off to get to where I am today. That’s not luck. I created this reality I live in.

Or so I thought.

I realized something a few months ago. Luck isn’t about winning the lottery. Being called lucky isn’t an insult. It’s the truth. After reflection, I am very lucky.

I was born in the right country to the right parents. Everything I have experienced has brought me to where I am today.

I almost drowned in family friend’s pool when I was 3 years old. But I didn’t. I was saved by my neighbor’s friend. I could be dead. But I’m not.

I have a natural drive to work hard. I’m self-motivated. I always wanted to do that best I could. I can’t describe what gave me this internal drive at a young age.

It wasn’t something that I learned from a book. There was a moment or series of moments that shaped me into becoming that type of person.

Maybe it was my mom, who started teaching me when I was 3 or 4 years old.

Or, maybe a teacher help change the trajectory of my life.

Or maybe it was my three siblings influenced me.

All I know is that if you change one of those inputs, the output or my life would be different today.

 

One Example

Bill Gates is brilliant. He’s ambitious. He took advantage of the opportunities he saw early in his life.

Bill Gates is also lucky.

He attended Lakeside, a private school in Seattle. A private school with a computer. Not just any computer, but a brand new, top of the line computer.

The Lakeside’s Mother’s Club had a rummage sale every year to raise money for the school. And instead of just funding the budget, they always would fund something kind of new and interesting in addition. And without too much understanding, they decided having a computer terminal at the school would be a novel thing. It was a teletype — upper case only, ten characters a second — and you had to share a phone line to call into a big time-sharing computer that was very expensive.

This was one moment in Gate’s life that put him on the path to revolutionizing the world. Luck played a role in getting him there.

What if one detail and his life changed? What is he attended Public School in Seattle instead of private? What if he not have access to a computer in middle school? Would he have still changed the world?

(Credit to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers for this story.)

When comes down to it luck and hard work two sides of the same coin. Here’s how I see it:

Luck + Hard Work = Success

No Luck + Hard Work = A difficult, but fulfilling life (in my opinion)

Luck + No Hard Work = A recipe for disaster (Case in point: lottery winners)

No Luck + No Hard Work = Not much

Being lucky isn’t a bad thing

Bill Gates got lucky. He worked his ass off for years and change the world and process. He took advantage of the luck bequeathed to him.

He leveraged this and used it as a springboard to create one of the most successful companies in the world.

Sometimes you just have to put yourself in the right place with the right amount of effort. Embrace the serendipity around you. Work hard. Follow your curiosities. Go where others haven’t dared to go. Who knows, luck might just find you.

What is one thing that has happened in your life that you would say was “lucky”? How would your life be different had that not happened?

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18 thoughts on “I am lucky

  1. What an interesting post! Luck or another way of phrasing it “random opportunities” can change our whole lives. I would say the biggest luck was meeting my husband in college. And really we had that one year we overlapped and somehow it was enough. Really interesting post!

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    1. Most definitely. It’s amazing to think about how one or two actions we took years ago can have such a huge impact on our lives. From where we live, the company you work for, or even the person you marry.

      Thanks for the comment Juanita!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup. Definitely see The Universe or Luck weaving in and out of people’s lives. Currently I’m in need of some as I’ve fallen in the No Luck + Hard Work category. But still chugging along because you never know when it’s gonna strike and help you turn a corner. Good post.

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  3. Hi Justin. I agree…kind of…..But I don’t believe it is luck at all. I don’t believe in luck. I do believe in God, though, and I see His hand in our lives, His grace, saving us, leading us, providing for us. All those things that some people call coincidence, I see as Providence. And while luck is random, Our Creator is divine, intelligent, and merciful. It is not by chance that we receive the gifts we are given, and we are to be good stewards of those gifts, just like Bill Gates has done! May God continue to bless us, even when we don’t yet recognize Him.

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  4. Your post was an interesting read. I have a friend who likes to say, “There are no coincidences.” I think that’s his way of describing Providence. Your point that we choose how to react to the luck/coincidence/Providence is well-taken. We have the free-will to ignore it, shy away from it, use it for bad, or use it for good. https://gracelead.co

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice post man! I have to say I completely agree with you especially with the Luck + Hard work! A favorite quote of mine is, “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting and true post. Made a lot of clever comments about luck. There are two times in my life when I consider myself the “luckiest” woman alive. At birth, I was born with a hole in my stomach called Gastroschisis. I was placed through surgery and I made it! As if my family didn’t have enough stress from my rough birth, I faced a nasty car accident years later when I was 19. A Mack truck brought on another life threatening moment when it blew a tire and ran over my car. I suffered from broken bones and brain bleeds which the doctors labeled as a traumatic brain injury. Needless to say, I understand I am very lucky and I agree with your view on how we should work with the luck we’re given. It’s amazing how luck plays into our lives, and it’s great when people learn to use it well.

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    1. Thank goodness you were able to make it through those two events in your life Shelby! You are a strong woman, being able to make it through not just one but two traumatic events, and maintaining a positive outlook despite them.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just finished watching “The Founder”, the story of Ray Kroc and how he built McDonald’s into the empire it is today. There were multiple examples of luck throughout the movie but none more vital than Sonneborn accidentally overhearing Kroc’s financial situation in the bank. If he didn’t pitch Kroc to focus on the real estate side of the business, who knows if McDonald’s would be as successful? There were also lots and lots of hard work involved, considering Kroc was 52 and still selling milk shake machines out of the trunk of his car! Very interesting and relatable post…stay lucky!

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    1. That’s an awesome story! The amazing thing about it is that is all it takes. Some chance encounter leads to another leads to another and next thing you know…who knows! I will have to check out that movie. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

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