Luck O’ the . . .Whatever

luck quote

It’s the season of four-leaf clovers and pots of gold and all things lucky.  But here’s the thing — I’m not sure I believe the hype.

Sure, if I win the lottery tonight, that could be luck.  If I had won that gift certificate to that awesome jewelry designer’s site I retweeted about the other day, that might have been luck.  But success in life isn’t a lighting strike moment.  Nope. Not buying it.

I absolutely believe there is such a thing as right place; right time.  Wait, you ask, isn’t that the same thing as luck?  Good question.  It’s not,  and here’s why: right place.  The timing might be arbitrary, but you always had to be in the right place.  (Sort of like how you have to play the lottery to win, or I had to retweet that tweet to even have a chance.)

A good friend of mine, who had an amazing 2013, was recently talking about how she just got lucky.  But here’s what I know: she worked hard.  She wrote lots of words, late into the night, for a lot of nights. She read about how to market her product and she followed the steps meticulously.  When she got e-mails from people who loved her words she responded to them individually, for as long as she possibly could.  She was vulnerable and honest when things didn’t go as planned.

So yes, maybe a few things lined up perfectly, for the right people to see and promote her work at the right time; but if the work had been bad or she had been resistant, success wouldn’t have come.

Luck only happens when you’re ready for it.

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2 thoughts on “Luck O’ the . . .Whatever”

  1. Nice topic. I always liked this short passage about luck from one of our best science fiction authors.

    “Seems to me I fumbled everything I tried. But I had help and an awful lot of luck.” I shivered at how luck alone had kept me out of the soup—real soup.
    ‘Luck’ is a question-begging word,” he answered. “You spoke of the ‘amazing luck’ that you were listening when my daughter called for help. That wasn’t luck.”

    “Huh? I mean, ‘Sir’?”

    “Why were you on that frequency? Because you were wearing a space suit. Why were you wearing it? Because you were determined to space. When a space ship called, you answered. If that is luck, then it is luck every time a batter hits a ball. Kip, good luck’ follows careful preparation; ‘bad luck’ comes from sloppiness.

    Robert Heinlein “Have Space Suit, Will Travel”

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