On Luck

A Ben Corman post reminded me of an article I read within the last month – unfortunately, my Googling skills seem to have failed me, so I can’t link it.

The article described a world-renowned musician at a dinner party. A woman introduced herself, and told him that she’d “give anything to play like him”. He immediately responded: “no, you wouldn’t”. She wouldn’t devote the thousands of hours of practice in social isolation to master the craft, as he had.

People always want the quick fix; they don’t want to put in the required effort to be truly knowledgeable, or talented, or athletic, or popular, or rich, or all of those things. Logically, that’s why people are so enamoured with the notion of celebrity: so that they can live vicariously through the lives of the rich, the athletic, the talented – without having to change a damn thing about themselves.

I hear that L word thrown around a lot, too. Sometimes at me, for the small achievements I’ve made and opportunities I’ve undertaken. But it’s not luck. Luck is very rarely the reason why intelligent people end up in enviable – ‘lucky’ – positions. It seems that “you’re lucky” is the automatic response to news of any significantly positive personal development.

A fork in the road. You can spend the rest of your life wallowing in “could have”, “should have” and “would have”, wishing that you were someone else. Or you can take action, and work toward becoming the person you wish you could become.

In life, there’s very rarely a quick fix. If you want to achieve something significant – something that’ll be perceived as ‘lucky’ by less motivated people – you have to work hard for it.

So, which road will it be?

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