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On success and luck

I used to believe that whatever success I had achieved in life, be it a personal or professional success, was largely down to my own doing.

I’ve always had a drive inside me that believes that I can always do more and be more. It’s this drive that allowed me to transition from a life of working on the harsh building sites of north east England to working for some of the world’s largest brands.

There’s a saying which goes something like, “your current situation is the result of every decision you’ve ever made.” This is true though, in life, you often have less control that you think.

Self-reliance and being in charge of one’s own destiny have always resonated with me. The ability to live a life on my own terms has always been the goal.

My current situation in life is the one I want. I’m not a millionaire and I don’t command any form of power over anyone else. That’s not the life I aspire to.

I have money in the bank, no debt and work for myself. I’ve travelled extensively, am in good health, and to learn a new skill is fun for me. I’ve developed my own philosophy for life and created a lifestyle so I have enough time to pursue things I’m interested in. At the drop of the hat I can go anywhere and do anything within reason.

By my own definition of success, I am successful.

Sure, I have many more life goals, but where I am right now is where I choose to be.

I believed that my success (my definition of success, remember) was all my own doing. That I achieved the life I aspired through my own hard work and tenacity.

Not exactly.

The penny dropped for me when I realised that everything I’ve currently achieved in life is mainly due to luck. It hit me that the moment I chose to pursue a better life, I received so much luck along the way.

The luck came in the two forms: Circumstances and people.

Circumstances where being in the right place at the right time helped get me to that next stage

People who have helped me along the way either by hiring me or being a friend.

Sometimes this ‘luck’ (circumstances and people) made profound changes to my life. Other times less profound but were part of a bigger picture.

I won’t give specific examples as there are too many but when I piece them together I can see how they’re all connected.

The more I thought about it, the more I remembered examples where luck (people and circumstances) provided new opportunities for me.

I have no unique skill. I’m not the hardest worker either. But where I am today I owe to people who helped or influenced me and circumstances that happened along the way. Mixed in with a little of my determination for good measure.

Think of a time in your life where you were in the right place at the right time or when you met someone who changed your life forever. This is luck!

You still have to work hard to achieve success. Don’t expect luck to come to you while you’re sitting at home. You have to be in it to win it.

Work hard and open yourself up to the possibilities of the world. Go places, speak to people, read books, go deep on a specific topic and be inquisitive about the world around you.

The harder you work the more luck you’ll find. And, in turn, you will be the luck for someone else on their journey too.

Comments

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  1. I agree with a lot of what you’ve put in this post, but interestingly I’m not a believer in luck. It’s partly because I thin people use luck as an excuse for them not having achieved what they want to. And in the main, people talk about other people being lucky, rather than themselves. For me, to echo some of your own points, the key things are:

    – Be open to opportunities
    – Help other people out, and that will come back in one form or another
    – Make your own decisions, take control of your own life, if you don’t like something, change it
    – Be positive
    – Work hard
    – Be curious, talk to people, ask questions

    Any ‘luck’ (as it would be perceived by others, not me) that has come my way is a product of some or all of the above. Which is essentially what I think you’re saying too.

    • Good points and agree with them all. Sounds like we agree on the principles but differ on the wording. On your point about helping others out, I’m a receiver of your help via work leads on more than one occasion which I’m grateful for.

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