Why Luck is Deceptive
I used luck as a cowardly excuse for both my failures and successes for a long time. I had no idea that I was using luck as a scapegoat, until a couple years ago.
And honestly, my life changed going from thinking that certain opportunities presented themselves due to “luck”, “chance,” or “fate,” to knowing that it was because of my own personal decisions (or lack thereof).
A Brief Story
For the majority of my life, until a couple years ago, I tended to see good opportunities as blessings. I would view an awesome, unique opportunity to travel as destiny. An amazing girl comes into my life? Fate. The best or worst job I’ve ever had? Deliberate, planned and designed. They were all viewed as luck because they were far and few in-between.
The things that came into my life that were “perfect” were so far in between that, of course, I viewed them as heaven-sent and deserved.
I now believe that 90% of the situations we experience or fail to experience are due to exposure and being bold, while 10% are actually due to luck or other opportune circumstances.
I think that quite a few of us believe that opportunities regarding the opposite sex, jobs, or unique out-of-the-blue opportunities are at least sometimes “meant to be.” Let me tell you why I think this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Actual Situation
Most of us use luck as an excuse whether or not we know it.
People who tend to say “oh my god I met this guy and I don’t want to lose him” tend to be the people who either A. Don’t get to date much or B. Don’t encounter their type much or C. People who don’t get out much. All of those can be remedied by “putting yourself out there more.” None necessarily have to do with luck, fate, or opportunities of a lifetime.
And guess what? More than one person I’ve talked to who has “put themselves out there” has started to believe less and less in destined meetings, and more and more in luck as “what happens when preparation meets opportunity” as Seneca famously said.
Good things just happen when you do it right.
Right now you need to honestly assess yourself. When an awesome out of the blue opportunity shows up, do you regard it as destiny or simply as a nice opportunity to take hold of?
How often do “out-of-the-blue” opportunities show up for you? Once a week? Once a month? Once a year? Once every few years?
When an incredible romantic situation presents itself, do you view it as “finally, a chance”, and quickly become afraid of losing that “opportunity?”
When after a year of unemployment you finally find a job, do you attribute it to chance, or opportunity? “It was the right time..” I used to tell myself a lot.
The Personality Scoop
As a brief recap, I’ve established an artificial dichotomy here:
- “Waiters” – People who view unique opportunities as serendipitous, due to fate, luck, destiny. Feel in control that 10% of the time when an opportunity presents itself. (It presents itself – they rarely find opportunities on their own)
- “Go-getters” – People who regularly put themselves out there and believe in opportunity (and get opportunities). Opportunities have a less powerful hold on them because they see them more often. They influence their reality and totally (90% of the time) control it
This dichotomy has been well-established before, but I think it becomes more meaningful with personal examples. One day I realized I was waiting for things to be given to me, and then I changed my situation.
I don’t know about you, but If I knew that “doing,” “having stones,” and “putting myself out there,” were the solutions to an almost lifelong problem, my life would be way different.
The most important things that I have concluded about luck are the following:
- The most important reason for being a “go-getter” is the feeling of being in control. The feeling of waiting for something totally sucks. There is nothing that makes people more afraid than feeling powerless. It doesn’t feel good.
- Go-getters experience way more opportunities romantically, in work, and in travel. Mathematically there is just a statistically better chance of experiencing more by exposing yourself to more. Makes sense, right?
I used luck as an excuse for laziness, for being a coward, and for being unwilling to change.
Becoming a Revolutionary
Sure I think luck is a big part of life. And by big I mean 10%. That other 90% is totally under your control, and is entirely optional as to whether or not you use it.
You can sit back and wait and 10% of the time get what you want. Or, 90% of the time you can get what you want – and with “luck” on your side, all the time.
I’m so surprised people haven’t mentioned this before, because all the time I hear friends talk about how lucky they are…
Expose yourself to more, and you will experience more. Swallow your pride, grow some stones, and take opportunities that normally scare the shit out of you. That is the only way to experience more and grow.
The choice is always yours, you can choose to be powerful, in control of your destiny, and live a fruitful life. Or you can wait for opportunities to happen, and when they (rarely) do, you can thank the heavens and your lucky stars.
I decided to man up, and take the latter. But the choice is up to you.