A Few Practical Thoughts About Good Luck Favours Those in Motion
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At times in the past, when I have heard people say, “you were just lucky” or “look at that person, they’re so lucky” I rattle with frustration inside.
Good Luck doesn’t exist, but hard work, patience, perseverance, commitment and thoroughness do!
Everything that happens to us in life traces back to a decision that we’ve made or not made, and a series of actions that we’ve either taken or not taken. Some of the things that happen to us are determined by the choices or actions of others. No-one is ever a victim, and no-one is ever lucky. We all just are.
There is always a cause and effect, and there is always a consequence for each choice that we make. Procrastination is the habit of putting off until tomorrow what should have been done yesterday. Procrastination costs us the things we want in life today.
An ancient proverb says that the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. You’ve probably known people who near the end of their life and look back to said, “If only I had done things different”…. If only I’d took that opportunity when it came along.”
The lives of unfulfilled people are filled with ‘I wish that’s …. and If Only’s’. There are some people who deem their lives over before they even really got started. Life is full of opportunity to achieve great things and accomplish phenomenal goals. Most people don’t.
When a world class footballer scores a goal in Championship football, it’s not luck that puts the ball in the back of the net – it was the years of hard work, patience, perseverance and commitment to master the great game.
Goals don’t happen by chance, but through dedicated practice, muscle growth, speed and agility that the athlete has developed over thousands of gruelling training hours.
I was recently having a conversation with an ex-military peer who’s been unemployed for almost three years now. After leaving the military, he told me, his luck just went downhill. He suggested that there were no suitable jobs and that his wife couldn’t understand him. Resultantly, he ended up out of luck, homeless, single and broke.
As we were chatting, he said to me, ‘But it’s alright for you, you’ve done well for yourself and have a wife that understands you.’ And upon hearing this short sentence, I had never felt so dishonoured or belittled in many years. Good Luck favours those in motion.
In a time span of 8 years, I went from also being single, homeless and broke, to being self-employed with a sound reputation, a product range of books and video courses which are the result of over five years extensive study and self-reflection. Married, with a wife (who also doesn’t understand me at times), and with a home and car that I worked very long hours to ascertain. Was I lucky? Does shit fly?
As I reflected on this insult I’d just received, I considered some words that my chisel-chinned Army training Corporal once spoke to me as I was laying face down in a pool of mud with his foot resting gently on the back of my head. “Ramsay you faggot! Strive for excellence in everything you do … and stop being a lazy prick!”
Just to emphasise here, those words weren’t spoken gently, nor with compassionate kindness. Corporal Samual didn’t like me too much.
To cut this fascinating story short, I left the Army eight years later, the same rank, and carrying the same crucial life principle that I learned that day with my face in the mud. I will strive for excellence in everything I do. I will not be a lazy prick.
No one else will take responsibility for my life, and rightly so. My life is my responsibility, as are the choices I make and the actions I take.
Consider an author like J.K. Rowling (the author of Harry Potter). She didn’t sit down one week in search of inspiration, wrote seven books the following week, published them the week after, and then watched Harry Potter become a New York Times bestseller by luck.
J.K. Rowling first had the idea of Harry Potter while sitting on a train in 1990. Over the five years that followed, she planned out the seven book series, wrote them in longhand and amassed a large suitcase of notes on hundreds of scrap bits of paper.
In 1993, she arrived in Edinburgh with three full chapters of the first book in her bag. By now she was a full-time mother and continued to write in every spare moment she had. Once the manuscript was complete, she sent the first three chapters to numerous literary agents until one responded having taken an interest.
After finishing the first book and while training as a teacher, Harry Potter was accepted for publication by Bloomsbury. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone became a bestseller in 1997. The Harry Potter books have since broken many records with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows selling 2.65 million copies within 24 hours in 2007. Good Luck favours those in motion.
I reckon that if my ex-Army peer had said the same thing to J.K.Rowling as what he’d told me, “It’s alright for you …. you’re just lucky …” – She might have thrown a signed copy of Harry Poter at him. At his head. With tremendous force.
I could go on with more examples here, but I hope that by now my point has been made clear. Lottery winners are lucky, but this kind of luck isn’t robust enough to sustain any real sense of fulfilment or pride.
Luck has this funny way of showing up after many years of hard work is complete. Luck often presents itself when everything that we’re able to do has been done.
An old mentor of mine once shared a valuable life lesson with me; he called it the ‘farmer principle’.
The farmer can plant the seed, and the farmer can water the seed, but the farmer cannot make the seed grow. The farmer cannot produce growth. Growth comes from somewhere other than the farmer.
There are some who’ll say that growth is just good luck. Then, there are those who are wise enough to recognise the recurring trend that’s echoed its way through the ages.
“A little sleep, a little slumber and a little folding of the arms to rest. Poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity will devour you like an armed man.” – Ancient Proverb
The illusion of luck will consume those who are not careful. If you buy into this concept entirely, you might end up sitting on the sidelines while the dedicated, persevering and committed hard-workers are out there scoring all the goals, and gaining recognition for their effort.
In 1922, the late Coleman Cox said, “I am a great believer in good luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have!”
Don’t sit around waiting for lady luck to show up. Luck is for the leprechauns and unrealistic rainbow chasers. For the rest of us, it’s hard work, patience, persistence and perseverance that’ll get the ball into the back of those nets. Good Luck favours those in motion.
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