Luck scares the crap out of me.
Contrary to common belief, luck is the one thing that has the power to completely, utterly mess up your life.
As much as I like the idea of getting lucky–especially while abroad, wink–the harsh truth is this:
Luck does not exist.
That's not startling news though, is it? Most people already know that. Right? Right.
So the question becomes:
Why is it that most people still place their lives in the hands of the tooth fairy's cousin to run?
That's why luck scares the crap out of me–despite the fact that it is make-believe, and most people know that if they consciously think about it, the power it seemingly has in running people's lives is alarming. Many people live their lives hoping to get lucky, instead of getting out there, smearing on some eyeblack, giving life their best GRRR face, and making it happen. (I tend to be rather fond of my GRRR face, if I do say so myself.)
Fact: When it comes to achieving things, people don't get lucky. When we experience any type of success–however we define that for ourselves–it isn't because we got lucky in the success lottery that day. It isn't because we were in the right place at the right time. And it definitely isn't because you were wearing a low-cut top that day.
But most importantly?
When we experience success it isn't because we've worked hard.
Yeah, that's right. You heard me, cowboy.
Hard work might come into play later, but the real reason we experience any type of success is a simple yet often overlooked tiny little detail:
You first have to give yourself the chance.
Get out there! Go get dirty! Open yourself to opportunity! TRY.
There are many dreamers in the world. I'm certainly one of them. And for those of you who read my Dream Zapper post over at Free Pursuits, you know how important I feel it is to protect those dreams. However, it is far too easy to simply wish for this, and hope for that, and call those aspirations, when the fact of the matter is that is it 100% impossible to achieve those aspirations–or anything, for that matter–unless you put yourself out there first, and give it a try.
This is the simplest advice, but by far one of the best, I assure you.
Here's an example. I recently won an all-paid trip to Jamaica to stay in an all-inclusive resort. Seems pretty lucky, huh?
Not lucky at all. I did not win that trip because of luck. I won that trip because I bothered to take 2 minutes to fill out an entry form and put my name in the drawing while out dancing one night in Philadelphia. I won because I opened myself up to the opportunity, instead of just walking by and thinking, “Oh, I'll never win, anyway. C'mon let's hurry to the all-you-can-eat steak buffet before the line gets long.”
Relating this back to life goals, it seems too often to be the case that many don't bother to “put their name in,” or simply try, because they've convinced themselves that there will always be someone out there who will be better, more deserving, etc.
And that kind of mindset can be devastatingly crippling to the potential that's out there. It's also devastatingly false.–
Luck and Lifestyle Design
In terms of lifestyle design, this becomes an especially important lesson. The word “design” implies “deliberate intention.” If you want the power to control your life and design the one you see fit, then…you must be deliberate and intentional. No big shocker there. But luck? That's going to do you approximately zero good in this showdown.
As rad as it would be, you're not going to get lucky and have a martini magically appear in front of you just because, you're not going to get lucky and lose 20 pounds just because, and you most certainly will not get lucky and simply have the life of your dreams just because.
You've got to go out and hunt that *$&@ down!
I've found it useful to think not in terms of how much effort I've got to exert, but by how great the potential reward or benefits could be, and in that alone. If something requires relatively little work, but offers a huge reward, this ranks high on my priority list. If something requires more effort, but still offers an equally huge reward, this also ranks high. However, if something requires either little or more effort and the end reward isn't something I'm absolutely crazy about, then this ranks low in my priorities. Voila, prioritized goals.
It's all about examining what it is you want, assessing the various routes to take you there….and then not waiting for luck to kick in, but making it happen with a healthy dose of some sexy old elbow grease. Discard the idea that maybe if you start something, it'll just fall into place. It won't! You've got to make it happen, and follow through. It's as simple as that.
Even if you aspire to have a four hour work week (something that might rank high in your priorities), you've still got to put in the work now to get there later. Sometimes the best rewards take time and effort, but that doesn't make them any less valuable. In fact, they're probably more valuable, which is why you should be more willing to dedicate yourself. But whatever you do, don't leave anything in luck's hands. It'll be the fastest road to my-life-sucks-ville.
If it's something you really want, then the reward is always worth the risk. You want an action step? You got it: Go practice your GRRR face in the mirror until it's good enough to rival those crazy dudes from the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), and then make a phone call. Not an email, a phone call. Call one person who you think could offer you some good advice on whatever it is you want to pursue, and simply just ask for it. People are often much more willing to help than you may think. They'll likely be flattered, and you'll get the benefit of gaining valuable knowledge, making a potential contact, and getting you pumped.
Don't forget to take notes.
Ready? Set? GRR face! Go!