“They’re so lucky.”
Occasionally, we hear this comment followed up with, “I’m just not as lucky as they are.”
It’s easy to attribute someone else’s success to luck. We see their wealth, physical fitness, or career status and think they were blessed with good fortune. We assume they were born with money, had perfect genes, or knew somebody to get ahead.
But that snap judgement is completely misguided.
Behind the Results
A person at the top of her game may have experienced a few lucky breaks along the way but that’s not the whole story. Successful results require much more. What we don’t initially realize is what it took to get there.
Behind the results you see in front of you are countless hours of effort, focus, and resolve.
As we observe successful people as a whole, patterns emerge. Here are a few that stand out:
- They are intentional.
- They make sacrifices to get to their desired outcome.
- They take focused action.
Sounds quite simple, but if that were the case, we’d all be massively successful at achieving our goals. While we each have our own definition of success, consider the following examples where these commonalities play out.
Successful Personal Relationships
Ron and Rita have been married forty years but still look at each other like they did when dating. One might figure them lucky to have found the right one. But behind the goo goo eyes is a long-standing commitment to each other through thick and thin.
They viewed hurt feelings, disagreements, and struggles as part of the territory. Even when things got bad, they were determined to work it out. They continued weekly date nights. They persistently took action to address problems head on and resolve them. Luck didn’t play a role.
Liz is a marathon runner. Five years earlier and seventy-five pounds heavier, she was winded after a slow walk around the block. The threat of dying young and leaving her son motherless sparked the intention and drive to get moving.
She sacrificed a little sleep each night by getting up at 5:00 a.m. to walk, then jog, then run in the dark to shed those pounds. She took committed action and became a different person in the process.
Freelance web designer Bob can’t wait for morning to roll around so he can build beautiful websites for his clients. He sets his own hours and chooses those he serves. He can work from anywhere in the world with his laptop and an internet connection.
While honing his skills years earlier, Bob worked long hours in a windowless basement office and was unappreciated by his employer. Determined to make a better life for him and his family, he built a freelance business on the side and socked away money in savings. He and his family sacrificed vacations and entertainment opportunities for the sake of having a financial cushion when he made the jump to a full-time career he loved.
What It Means for Us
Before assuming someone lucky, it’s helpful to learn the back story.
The long-term married couple, the fit marathon runner, and the freelance web designer didn’t get there by luck. They arrived by being intentional, making sacrifices for a time, and taking consistent action.
So, if it wasn’t luck, but instead working hard for something important, couldn’t the same be true for us?