The month of March brings St. Patrick’s Day. Have you heard the phrase luck of the Irish? Can you succeed in life and business on luck alone?
What does being lucky mean? Do you even believe in luck? Can you get by in life on luck alone? In other words, can you be successful by chance rather than through hard work?
As much as I would like to dream, hard work drives results, and luck doesn’t. Without a game plan in place for both your personal and work goals, nothing will ever get accomplished. Thomas Jefferson said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more of it I have.”
From my own humble observations, hard work is continuous and places your fate into your own hands. With hard work, you control your own destiny. On the opposite end, luck is usually a one-time occurrence that you have no control over.
Let’s say you were reviewing two nearly identical resumes trying to fill only one position. The only difference between the two documents is that one says “hard worker” and on the other it said “lucky guy.” Which would you choose? Even luck can’t replace putting your shoulder to the wheel.
I am not saying that luck doesn’t exist at all; I am just saying that to achieve your business objectives and personal goals, you have to work hard.
For example, I do believe in a form of luck as illustrated by some gifs below.
Hard Work Versus Luck
Oprah Winfrey, one of the wealthiest people on the planet, said, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” Sometimes, at the end of the day, all of your hard work simply isn’t enough and that is where you hope luck comes in.
For example, let’s take a golfer who works all day to reduce his score and practices day in and day out. He has blisters on his hands from swinging his club so much. During an important tournament, he swings his club back, letting all of his training and practice guide the power and accuracy of his swing. The ball flies through the air, hits the green and rolls into the hole for a hole in one. Could this be considered luck? Yes. In reality, this is the culminating moment of all of the sweat, aches, and pains and hours of dedication spent per day.
David Beckham shoots a free kick 24 yards out from the goal. It is seemingly impossible with the wall of players in front of him and a very skilled goalkeeper trying to stop him. The window in which he has to make the goal is just as impossible as a hole in one in golf. This situation isn’t new to him. Every day for hours on end during practice, he placed the ball in the same spot by himself, taking shot after shot. With each strike of the ball he learns, improves his skill, and gets better. He has been practicing this same situation for hours after his teammates have gone home. Without tremendous devotion, he wouldn’t know how to bend the ball around the players and with a sniper-like approach slip one past the goalie.
As you can see, he became known for his dangerously accurate ability to score.
David Beckham is known among his teammates as the hardest working player on the team, consistently arriving early and staying late. He doesn’t score by luck.
If you are satisfied with mediocrity, hard work is not for you. If dedicating yourself to your trade sounds inconvenient, may luck be with you always. For those of you guided by luck, go buy your lottery tickets. To those of you that control your own fate, get to work.