There is no such thing as luck, merely opportunity meeting preparedness.
– George S. Patton Jr.
From my official blog here.
Few, if any, chance encounters in the world can overcome a complete lack of preparation and ambition. I suspect we all know that type of person who seems to get everything they set their eyes on. Pessimism makes it easy to believe that these sort are simply more lucky then the rest of us; perhaps it was all in who they know or being in the right place at the right time. Far too often, this kind of fatalistic musing can lead a good person to a dark place. I believe it’s time that we all become the hero in our own stories, and I’m confident that a certain level of preparedness is crucial to success.
Courting Lady Luck
Preparedness is readiness. It is the deliberate action on the part of an individual to acquire the knowledge and experience which are conducive to a certain application. I say deliberate because lasting success is never a matter of happenstance. Yesterday, I wrote on the subject of flexibility and how important that can be in finding the best path forward. It may seem to the contrary, then, to suggest that we can ready for a plan which might change at any moment, but it’s simpler than it seems.
We cannot, of course, prepare for every eventuality; it’s mere foolishness to attempt, even. It is possible, however, to prepare for likelihoods. As an example, if you fancy yourself as an artist or illustrator, and you work tirelessly in your passionate pursuit, you could still likely assume that your work may need to take a more commercial approach to succeed. In stepping back from more complex plans, it actually becomes much easier to predict what may occur. To be more specific, if you dream of being a creative, studio artist living in a high-rise apartment in the most-extravagant part of New York City, your particularity may be your undoing. Conversely, if you wish to make a living using your artistic skill in whichever capacity is profitable, you can make a plan which is more likely to succeed and easier to accomplish.
Preparedness and Success
I specifically mentioned lasting success above in place of mere success; this was as deliberate as it seems. We’ve all known the one-hit, flash-in-the-pan superstars that come about from time-to-time. I immediately think of musicians that arrived and faded just as quickly, but it applies to every field in the business world. Sometimes, opportunity falls into an unprepared lap. These people seem very lucky at the time – and they sometimes even give what is truly their best effort to take advantage of it. Still, in most cases, achievement is often very short-lived.
Likewise, every major success story out there—regardless of their industry—can point to their “big break” – the time where it all fell together. The difference, importantly, is that they were prepared. People who continue to “win” in life have a plan and work hard. In fact, there really is no shortcut to be had. I firmly believe—and my observations support—that if you give your “all” to a reasonable endeavor, opportunity will find you eventually. If you’ve done your homework and prepared your skill set, you’ll find you can finally live the life of your dreams.
Thank you for your time.